VMware Explore in Barcelona was a blast 🤩
Yes, yes, yes! I was at VMware Explore in Barcelona 😃. My very first time 🤩.
On Sunday, 5 November 2023, shortly after registration opened, I was one of many to register early. I met a few familiar faces – customer, partners and colleagues – and was told that having a walk around would be great. Luckily, I had the early access E on my badge and was able to roam thru the venue.
I got early access granted because I was staff for the Cross-Cloud Café. More on that in a moment.
Walking from registration in hall 8.0 – which is downstairs – all the way to Customer Success Central at CC4 – upstairs – did take a while, even with the conveyor belts in between. Along the way, the venue was fully VMware Explore branded.
When I returned on Monday, the Cross-Cloud Café team was going to meet for a walkthrough and preparation for the Expo (hall 7.0) to open on Tuesday. I went to check out hall 6.0. Hall 6.0 was home to Hands-on-Labs, VMware community, Customer Success Theatre, and a huge space to have a seat and recharge – not only oneself but also your devices 😉.
I also had the chance to introduce myself personally to Corey Romero who runs the well-known vExpert program. It was good speaking with Corey 😃.
It was amazing to see how many customers used the day to be in the Hands-on-Labs area. It was buzzing. All seats were taken, and I was told from, VMware colleagues who were on shift, that in the morning, when the area opened, the queue was so long that some customers had to be turned away and were asked to stop by later in the day.
As a newbie to VMware Explore, I learnt that this is normal procedure. Customers want to get hands on before they start going to sessions. I could feel so much energy and positive vibes in hall 6.0, it was amazing (I know it’s a buzz word but the energy level was almost touchable.)
The general session on 7 November 2023, kicked off VMware Explore. VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram took the stage. In one hour, more VMware executives shared news and information. The attendees took the energy from the general session with them into the sessions.
Customer Success Central – the area for TAM/Success 360 customers – opened, too. Coming into the area, it felt like being welcomed to the lounge of a huge hotel – maybe the VMware hotel. The staff were VMware TAMs from across EMEA – I met colleagues from France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Denmark, Italy, Middle East, and more.
Besides being staff for the Cross-Cloud Café, I also had my very first Explore session for TAM/S360 customers – topic: Green Data Center – How To Achieve It with VMware Tools. And it weren’t the VMware Tools everyone expected 😎.
But first – the Cross-Cloud Café.
In the Cross-Cloud Café, customers got a coffee – we had baristas serving freshly brewed coffee – and were able to chat with experts about Modern Apps, Cloud and Edge, Network and Security and Hybrid Workforce. We had good conversations with customers and partners, and we had a lot of coffee.
Going back to Customer Success Central. Here customers had 53 deep dive sessions to choose from. But the sessions were exclusive to VMware customers who have a VMware TAM. So, to no surprise, a lot of the presenters were TAMs.
As mentioned, I delivered my very first session. My co-presenter was our Aria Operations SME, Varghese P. The session was interactive with good questions from customers. The direct feedback from attendees afterwards was positive and a good motivation to plan for another Explore session.
VMware Explore was closed on Thursday, 9 November, in the early afternoon. Over 9.500 attendees had sessions across the entire VMware solutions portfolio.
My personal summary for VMware Explore Barcelona 2023 is very positive. I met a lot of my VMware colleagues from various countries, I had my first Explore presentation, had good talks with customers and partners. I took a lot of the energy and positivity with me when I flew home.
Saving the best for last – VMware Explore will return to Fira Gran Via in Barcelona in 2024. The announced dates are 4 – 7 November 2024.
For recaps of VMware Explore Barcelona 2023, have a look here: