After discussing the technical side of VMworld 2017 in my previous posts, it is finally time to shift focus to my favorite topic: networking and community.

The real added value of VMworld is the infinite opportunities to interact with peers and build your own professional and personal network. I remember my first VMworld in 2011: I was nobody and I knew nobody. In 2017 I can list the achievements I “unlocked” as a direct consequence of that trip to Copenhagen:

1. I started attending VMUG meetings
2. I became a VMUG Leader and got the VMUG President’s Award in 2016!
3. I became a vEXPERT
4. I landed a job with VMware (although I am not there anymore, that was a life achievement!)
5. I started blogging
6. I became a Tech Field Day delegate
7. I attended VMworld 2017 as an Official Blogger
8. I learned a lot and became a way better professional
9. I met and shook hands with the best minds in the industry
10. I made lots of friends in the community <== This one’s the best!

Going to that VMworld in 2011 on my own money and leave days (my employer at the time wasn’t interested in having me attend conferences) was the best career and personal investment I could do, it all started from there.

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Every now and then I realize how lucky I am to be part of this community of peers sharing a common passion for what can be (in a very simplistic way) referred to as “virtualization technology”; last November 12th, on a train back to Rome after the conclusion on VMUG Italy’s 2015 UserCon, I had once again such an epiphany. I was very tired after a long two days in Milan spent preparing and running the conference I have helped to organize together with my VMUGIT friends, but I was also very happy and proud for the awesome result we (as a community) obtained.

The outcome is here for you (not me) to judge: 274 attendees, 18 sponsors/exhibitors, 3 keynotes, 15 breakout sessions and one closing panel featuring some of the most influential leaders and visionaries in the IT industry. One of the aspects I am particularly satisfied with is that this time (our third one) the VMUGIT UserCon has become a true international event: most of sessions were delivered in English by prominent speakers coming from Europe and the US specifically to present at our conference. We also had Brad Tompkins (the VMUG International CEO) and Massimiliano Mortillaro from the Czech Republic VMUG as our welcome guests. The Italian UserCon may not be one of the biggest in terms of attendance, but for sure it can now be acknowledged as one of the leading international community events in terms of quality of content presented. This doesn’t come by chance but thanks to the hard work of all the people involved (the VMUGIT Board, the VMUG International Team, VMware itself and, last but not least, partners and sponsors).

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You know that old saying “Third time’s a charm”?

Well, I am not saying that the previous two editions of VMUG Italy’s (@vmugit) User Conference weren’t a success with almost 300 attendees each, packed sessions and the participation of some of the most famous names of the virtualization community, but believe me, this year the VMUGIT leaders are working behind the scenes to organize the best edition ever.

Here are some details about the event.

The UserCon will take place on 12 November 2015, in Milan; the venue is Centro Congressi Milano Fiori – Assago (the same of the 2013 edition, which has undergone a refurbishment process in the meantime).

The registration page (which also includes directions) is open and you can already reserve your seat. Although the page is in Italian, the process is standard, so you should know which buttons to press and how to fill the forms. In case of any issues, don’t hesitate to shout out.

All of the sponsors are confirmed and you can expect top notch, user focused technical sessions delivered by the majority of them. Just a few names: VMware (of course!), EMC, Nutanix, Pure Storage, Acronis, HP (with Intel), Infoblox, PernixData, Tintri, Webroot, Zerto, Hitachi, Micron, Simplivity, Aruba, Hitachi, Solarwinds. A few more might still be added, so be sure to keep checking the event page on the VMUG website for any updates. Be sure to visit their booths at the Solutions Exchange area to learn about the latests developments in their products and technology.

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VMworld Europe 2014 is only a mere four weeks away and now it is time to start focusing on it and achieve that sort of Zen mental state that it is required to survive the experience!

For the third year in a row the event will be held in Barcelona: somebody may object this, but from my perspective it does totally make sense. I admit I am totally biased as Barcelona is my favorite European city and a place where I’d move anytime if I had the chance, but let’s be honest: the city has a gorgeous weather in October, it is easily reachable from anywhere in Europe, it has great accommodation options, a working and efficient transportation system, food is great, it is a cheap place compared to other destinations and it is a pleasure for the eyes! Gimme Barcelona anytime!

After two Catalan VMworlds and almost a dozen leisure trips to Barcelona I can consider myself a veteran, so let me guide you through my experiences, who knows, you might find some useful advice here.

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