I’ve been around the VMware/VMworld community for awhile now. Pretty much since the beginning. The community began in the very early VMworlds, when guys like myself and Jase McCarty were paired up for a lab session, and while hanging out in the beanbag chairs on the last day when a random group of us discussed the logistics of getting the beanbag chairs out of the conference center and through the airports and airplanes to home.
While I did not help to start VMunderground 11 years ago (all credit for that goes to my good friend Theron), I got involved early on and helped it grow and keep on going. During that time, several other community events got started using a similar model: create an opportunity to give vendors an opportunity to support the community. This has led to vRockstar (the European cousin of VMunderground), vBrownBag TechTalks (an amazing way for individuals to help educate attendees and non-attendees), Spousetivities (which has given so many of us, including myself, a way to try to maintain a better work-life balance even at conferences), and Opening Acts.
Two years ago, all of these groups got together to see how we could support one another. We all run on shoestring budgets (trust me, none of us are getting rich, and some are even injecting personal money), so there wasn’t a possibility of financial support. What we decided to do was to create an easier (and cheaper) path for sponsors to sponsor all of us. Thus was formed the VMworld Community Sponsorship package, with the intention to make it very simple to find and sponsor multiple events at VMworld in order to get their company name out in front of the people that have the largest collective influence at VMworld: the vCommunity.
If you are a vendor, VAR, or community group and are looking to make a mark in the VMworld community, or simply want to give back to the community for all they’ve done for the industry, this is your best opportunity.
If you are an end user, blogger, or vExpert, make sure the vendors, VARs, and community leaders you work with understand what the community really does for one another and how big a part of the VMworld experience these events are for you (and could be for them).
We’ll have more info about our events announced soon, but we’re already getting budgets set, venues picked, activities narrowed down, and most importantly, getting sponsors lined up. If you’d like to help sponsor, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org