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The VMworld US edition is finished some weeks ago and there are just four weeks until the European edition of VMworld 2014! Although those two edition are too close there are still lot of difference in the contents and in the events themselves. The European edition remain one of biggest event in EMEA and a must, especially if you have lost (like me) the US edition.
Note that it isn’t the (old) “Fira de Barcelona” (close to Montjuic and Plaza de España), but is the new Fira center, called “Fira Gran Via” and quite far from the “old” oneVMworld EU will be probably in the same location of previous year: North Entrance Hall 8 (Carrer Foc Barcelona 08038). There is also a map of the fira area.
In the previous years there was a free bus service to reach the closes metro station (L8 – Europa Fira). I guess that there will be again, otherwise you have to plan a 10 minutes walk.
Note that vendor’s events or parties will not necessary be in the VMworld location (except the VMwolrd party that will be probably be in the same place, like in past events).
Event is from Monday (if you are a partner) to Thusday. Plan your days depends by you and your, your time and your flight options. Usually could be nice arrive for Sunday afternoon to attend also at the extra-events (don’t miss the vRockstar party on Sun evening). For leave the show I prefer the Thu afternoon, considering that the last day the event is limited only in the morning.
For me, due to some conflicts in my agenda, this edition will be shorter: only from Tue morning to Thu evening.
Check really well the content catalog to plan your days. Session could be really important (but if you are a vExpert you can look at the US edition before to find which could be more interesting). Also Hands on Labs usually are a must, but there are generally long waiting queues (unless you go on Monday) and some of them are also available with the on-line version.
But could be more valuable spend enough time in the community area to talk with other people and watch some community events, like the #vBrownbag TechTalks. This year, for the first time in Europe, there will be also a special edition of the TechFieldDay: Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld Europe 2014.
And of course see some vendor’s technologies and maybe some related events.
Flight will be probably the best way. For US people the VMworld site suggest some options. Please note that there are 3 airports:
- Barcelona El-Prat: this is really close to the event and also served by a shuttle (see next)
- Barcelona Girona: 1 hour far from Barcelona. There is a bus from the Girona’s airport to the Barcelona’s bus station. Note that Girona it’s also a nice city to visit if you have some spare hours.
- Reus: really far from Barcelona
Where to stay
There is a list of suggested hotels, but I prefer choose something close to the downtown (for the evening) that could also be more cheaper. I you booking.com, but other similar services could help you at the same way. And have a look also at possible offers when you book your flight tickets.
Position could be important, but close to downtown could make easy attend the post-event parties. And in my opinion is better close to a underground station rather than the fira area (that does not offer too much in the evening).
The VMworld area sound is almost close to El Prat airport… Exactly like previous years (and according with the official FAQ) there will be a shuttle service that runs on a loop between the Fira Europa metro station and the North Entrance of the Fira Gran Via (this service will be available every day of the conference).
Also there will be also a bus service from the airport to the venue will be available to all VMworld attendees (Shuttle drop off/pick up at Fira Gran Via North Entrance, Hall 8.0):
- Sunday 12 October 16.00 – 20.00
- Monday 13 October 10.00 – 20.00
- Thursday 16 October 12.00 – 18.00
Same FAQ says that “transportation is not provided from the airport to the hotel”. But the first metro station is almost close (L8 – Europa Fira) and maybe there will be same ticket option of last year (10 rides pass). Note that downton and the VMworld area is all in the zone 1. So common TMB tickets or the Tourist Card (but seems much more expensive) could be fine. Also note that L8 is still a “separated” line from other underground lines: this mean that you need a pass every time you get it (like if you go outside the underground and try to get it back).
For more information about the transport routes, see also Transportation at VMworld Barcelona 2014 (or, althought referred to previous year: this post or this other one or this other one). There is also an updated metro map (Jan 2014).
Some hint are probably obvious but still important: dress confortable, plan to walk a lot (fira area is not the best from the logistic point of view), consider that you can collect some extra shirts and gadgets (so plan extra space in your luggages, considering also the flight companies restriction), weather could be warm (but check forecast before leave), wi-fi exitist but will be not necessary so good (past years sometimes was really bad), lunch and refreshments will be provided daily (past years there was also breakfast, and I guess will be be same also this year).
Considering also that you will return with a new backpack, so additional space to consider:
- VMworld 2014 Social Media & Community
- Social Media Guide
- VMworld Bloggers
- VMworld Twitter Hashtags & Streams
- VMworld Photo collections
- VMworld Gatherings
- VMworld Party: Wednesday in the Fira area (General Session Auditorium)
- VMUG Member Party: on Monday evening
- VCDX, vExpert and CTO party: still a single event, on Tue evening
- #vBreakfast at VMworld Europe
- #vRockstar Party: on Sunday still at the Hard Rock Café (Plaça de Catalunya)
- Veeam annual Party: on Tuesday, still at Shoko Club at the coast line
Visit the city
Do you have some spare time? You haven’t see the city? Could be a good idea… but first to all remember that there are several thieves… so be careful on metro, and places with lot of people (like La Rambla). Is not too much worst compared to other cities… just play attention.
And what you could visit? Here is an idea of 20 places.
I suggest to visit (also inside) the Sagrada Familia, and see (at least from the outside) Casa Miro and Casa Batllo (both are quite close each other). The Barri Gotic is another must and could be better in the late afternoon (also for a dinner), where you can spend some time also on La Rambla and Plaza Reial that define the west border of the area.
Museum and other places like Park Güell and Montjuïc area or also Tibidabo could be great, but they require more time and you have to make a good planning.
If you are curios those are some of pictures that I’ve taken in Barcelona:
Finally just a note about safety in Barcelona: please be vigilant, especially in busy areas, and ensure you protect your personal belongings and keep luggage with you at all times, even when checking into your hotel. We kindly ask that you remove your VMworld badge when you are out enjoying Barcelona, so you don’t draw unwanted attention to yourself as a non-local….
- VMworld EMEA 2014 Tips & Tricks
- Transportation at VMworld Barcelona 2014
- Friday’s Featured Blogger: Duncan Epping
- VMworld EU 2013 Report