Why You Need to Attend VMware Explore Europe 2023
I attended VMware Explore in Las Vegas this year, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect from it as the Covid pandemic was still on everyone's mind, VMware is going through a transitional period as its buyout by Broadcom moves along, and the IT community in general seems to be in a bit of a malaise.
I am happy to report that it far exceeded my expectations. The attendance was larger than I expected, and the crowd was very engaged during the event. I am very excited to be going to VMware Explore Europe this year!
VMware Explore Europe 2023 will take place in Barcelona at the Fira Gran Via on Nov. 6-9, 2023. VMware has yet to release the attendance numbers for the U.S. conference, but as near as I could figure, there were about seven to eight thousand attendees, and rumors are that the European event will have as many, if not more, attendees. If so, this will be the second year in a row that the European event will eclipse the number of attendees for the U.S. event.
Over the past four years, many in IT have not had the opportunity to attend any conferences or interact in person with the tech community. VMware Explore presents an excellent opportunity to reconnect with people who share similar interests. During the event, you will have the chance to engage in conversations with other attendees in the hallways, during meals, at local bars and at the amazing after-hours events that will be held in and around the Fira Gran Via.
I attended VMware Explore U.S. and was able to partake in many great sessions. However, VMware Explore Europe has a different set of sessions, including the most popular ones from the U.S. event. The catalog comprises about 400 sessions, so whatever your interests are, you'll find a session to attend. I'm fortunate to work for ControlUp and will participate in a few sessions, which you can find here.
At the event held in Las Vegas, VMware announced new and important updates to their existing line of products. However, the company usually reserves some significant announcements for its Europe event. With VMware's focus on a multi-cloud strategy, it is highly anticipated that the upcoming event in Barcelona will bring exciting news and fresh products. Historically, VMware has announced its EUC products at their Europe event, so it will be interesting to observe if they continue this trend this year.
While I appreciate conversing with VMware employees about their products, I also like to spend time on the sidelines of the Expo Hall, where the smaller companies are located. In my experience, these companies are more flexible and can develop creative solutions and enhancements to VMware's main product lines, so don't forget to check them out while you are on the floor.
Barcelona is a fantastic location for hosting a conference due to its convenient location within Europe. It's just a short plane ride away from anywhere in Europe and offers a variety of hotels to choose from, ranging from affordable to luxurious five-star options. However, it's worth noting that if you decide to stay in the city center, you'll need to arrange transportation to the conference venue. Taxis are readily available, or you can take a bus to the Fira Gran Via. During your free time, there are plenty of bars, tapas, restaurants, and other attractions to explore. One of my favorite spots is a blues bar by the waterfront that I try to visit on Thursday nights when they have a drop-in jam session.
For those with more refined tastes or who are more interested in the rich historical backstory of the city, there is the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, & Casa Batlló, and my favorite, the Museu Marítim (Maritime Museum). There is even a fantastic little automobile museum near the center of town. You can see a previous article of mine for more information about things to do while in Barcelona.
Regardless of your reason for attending, I am sure you will enjoy the event, gain knowledge, and make valuable connections. If you do see me on the floor or in one of my sessions, make sure to say hola!
Passes for VMware Explore Europe can be purchased here.
Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 30 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 20 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware in Staff and Senior level positions. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on X @vDoppler.