VMware Explore 2022 has come to a close. Four days packed with information, conversations and activities. Now it’s time to pause and take a recap of the last few days. I won’t go into technical innovations, products or announcements here. I will write separate technical articles for that and there is also the VMware Explore Video Library with numerous videos including a recording of the General Session and many of the Breakout Sessions. Instead, I would like to go into things that I liked very much and also those that have potential for improvement. Not all points concern VMware itself – in many cases they are things that were good or not so good at the sidelines. Perhaps it will inspire some readers to consider a visit to VMware Explore in the future.
A Plus – VMware Explore 2022 on site in Barcelona
The fact that after two cancelled VMworlds (yes, World) an on-site event took place again is a big plus. No matter who I asked in the last few days – everyone was tired of the virtual meetings and was looking forward to the personal contact. From this perspective, VMware-Explore 2022 was bound to be a success.
A Plus – Public Transport
The Fira is located just outside the city center. So for those who have accommodation in the center, there are twice daily trips by public transport. Barcelona’s metro system is well organized and the trains run at a tight schedule. I rarely had to wait more than 5 minutes for a connecting train. The tickets are cheap and VMware gave out cards of 10-rides at registration. But you have to ask for them. Even if you buy a 10-rides ticket for the Barcelona city area yourself, it currently costs less than €8. This has even become a little cheaper compared to 2019.
The transfer to and from the airport is also cheap and reliable. A special airport bus runs at short intervals between the terminal and the city center (Placa Espana and Placa Catalunya). Pro tip: Buy a return ticket straight away, it’s cheaper.
Attention. After midnight, many lines close down. So night owls should have some cash ready for a cab, or plan a long walk to the hotel.
Blogger Program with Potential for Improvement
There were only 15 blogger passes in total, which is very few if seen in terms of the entire EMEA region. This also hit some of my fellow bloggers who had been providing excellent VMworld contributions for many years in a row and now surprisingly missed out.
At this point I would like to thank Elisabeth Kefal, who included me in the official program in the follow-up.
To clarify, this is not a full travel package. All bloggers always finance flight and accommodation on their own. Only the admission pass to the VMware Explore is sponsored by VMware. So costs can only have played a minor role.
After all, it’s the bloggers who have a deep reach into the community in their respective countries and beyond. I don’t like the word “influencer,” but it does come pretty close to the role of tech bloggers. Let’s call them “community networkers.” They are mostly the same people who are active in the VMware User Group (VMUG) and maintain close contact with the user base there.
The current practice should be reconsidered here. Instead, it would be nice to prioritize inviting bloggers in the future who are not only seasonally active during the 4 days of VMware-Explore, but who keep the community together all year round and constantly deliver valuable content.
Continue reading “VMware Explore EMEA – Review and Outlook”