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During the last years I hear from several people that the huge VMworld event is becoming less attractive. Several people just say (for different reasons) that they probably will not attent VMworld event… unless finally going anyway…

But it’s VMworld still a valuable event? An unmissable event?

The main reason why some people say that they will not attend, is that there are too much events, and it’s becoming more and more difficult attend to all of them. Attend to event it’s costly… the event tickets (in most cases between 1 and 2K$), the travels, the hotel for the nights, … but most important the time that you spend for an event. Event’s ticket maybe could be covered in different ways (for example with a blogger pass)… flights and hotel could be more difficult (in the past was more simplest). And what about the time? This should be a trade-off… you spend your time, but you can gain a lot from that time (for example by learning new stuff, or by networking with other people)… it’s just a balance between what you get and what you give.

And this could be the point… for a technical guy, if the breakout sessions aren’t good enough, maybe you just loose time without get enough back! And how are good the VMworld’s sessions? In my option they are still good, but some of them does not match at all the declared technical level, or spend too much in introduction (maybe with something too basic or too marketing oriented), and have only a limited part that it’s great.

Another reason, is that more and more are considering virtualization an old thing (see Virtualization is not cool anymore?) and prefer to follow the current “fashion technology trends”, like cloud native application (just to make an example). That’s quite funny because VMware also is working on most of the new trends, but also because think that legacy can just disapper or become useless in few years it’s a big utopia. Also, in most fanciest technology, an infrastructure is still need to make it possible… for example, serverless does not mean that server (or storage) disappear… you need them at the infrastructure layer (of the service provider).

But it’s true that time it’s a constraint for much people, so maybe somebody can choose to attend at a conference with some more cool technology, or maybe more specific of some new technologies and just drop VMworld (or other similar events).

And this can bring another possible reason… it the VMworld event too much generalist? Or too much oriented most for the C-levels, instead for the technical guys? This could be good point, and the last editions seems (partially) confirm this: the general sessions are more and more focused on the trends rathers than the technologies or the products, and the breakout sessions maybe just follow some trends and can lack on converage specific products.

There can be also other reasons, but those are the most important, and the last VMworld US edition demostrate a slow down in the attendees: VMware reported attendance at 20,000 this year which is about a 15% decline from the 23,000 who attended in 2015 & 2016 (for more information see With attendance down does this mean VMworld has jumped the shark?).

But there are still so many reasons to attend at this event, that (at least for me) make this discussion mostly useless…The first probably remain the network opportunity between different people… is still a big event, with a lot of people, lot of sponsors, a great stage.

And also for growing your skill is still valuable, with discounted exams and course (should be nice if exams get better disconts, IMHO), labs, or other good opportunities to learn something new.

VMworld remain still a must for the most!

Registration for both editions it’s already open! So don’t wait.

See also: VMworld 2018 – Where and when