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If we could only use one word to sum up the first day of VMworld 2018 US, it would be an absolute no-brainer: super! Attendees flooded into Mandalay Bay looking like kids in a candy store walking through this year’s Solutions Exchange, hanging out with colleagues and new friends in the tricked out VMvillage and wholly embracing members of the vCommunity.

Of course, Day One was destined to be a success after getting off to such a phenomenal start. The first general session, entitled “Technology Superpowers,” was one of the most jam-packed in recent VMworld memory. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger was nothing short of energized talking about the future of VMware—he even got a VMware “tattoo” to prove his dedication. The running theme of the session was shaping technology to act as a force for good—a mantra you could tell Pat is supremely passionate about.

Pat began with a trip down VMware memory lane to commemorate its 20th anniversary, breaking down the different “acts” VMware has undergone across two decades. He then highlighted the four current superpowers of tech: cloud, mobile, AI/machine learning and Edge/IoT, and ushered VMware into its next act—the multi-cloud era. Indeed, every business is currently on a multi-cloud journey and the fusion of both the hybrid cloud and public cloud will be essential for most enterprises moving forward. Where VMware comes into play is in its uncanny ability to bridge across these various silos of innovation to unite them as one, because together these superpowers make each other stronger.

VMworld 2018

But Pat wasn’t the only one who had a moment in the spotlight during today’s general session. The first surprise guest to emerge was the CEO of AWS, Andy Jassy. Andy was on-hand to discuss the new Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) on VMware with Pat, and this announcement got a warm reception from the massive crowd. VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell then detailed several exciting new projects around data center simplification, blockchain and much more. Seeing these new solutions like Project Dimension and Project Magna demoed first-hand, plus others like VMware PKS, Dell Provisioning for VMware Workspace ONE and vSphere Platinum were welcome treats for attendees.

The fun and excitement weren’t only confined to the general session, though. Throughout the day, there were a number of surprise and delight activities that kept the energy and vibe up at the show. Attendees got to chow down on delicious snacks like nitro popcorn and 20th anniversary cupcakes, kick back in the Escape Lounge and listen to the soothing sounds of Spanish guitar and pose for the ‘Gram with a living statue and comic book favorites like Superman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man. These surprise and delight activities will continue throughout the conference, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled in the coming days!

VMworld 2018

And if that’s not enough fun and games for you, then clearly you haven’t checked out the VMvillage yet. Attendees can kick back and relax with their VMUG comrades, a community that has now grown to more than 125,000 globally. There are also tons of games and activities to fill your days in between sessions: whether it’s learning about the history of VMware in the VMware Innovation Zone, playing AR basketball and giant Battleship with the vCommunity or getting into a heated drone race, there’s no shortage of fun to be had.

As we wrap up our Day One recap of VMworld 2018 US, a couple of important reminders. Be sure you’re participating in the VMworld Challenge, which is gamifying the VMworld conference like never before. For every breakout session, Challenge Sponsor or various other activities you participate in throughout your time at VMworld, you can earn achievements to qualify for some seriously sick swag. Or channel your inner Gandhi and forgo the swag to support global communities with Kiva microloans. For more information about the challenge, check out our blog here. And if you’re having trouble with the VMworld 2018 app, fret not—talk to our friendly experts at the information desk and mobile app support booth, located near registration.

VMworld 2018

We’re only just getting started here folks, and we’re so excited for what we have in store for you all throughout the next three days. Check back in tomorrow where we’ll detail some updates from this year’s hands-on labs, more surprise and delights and, of course, our next inspiring general session. Be sure to also follow us on social media for all the can’t-miss updates from the conference.