Opening Acts

Heating Things Up

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We’re less than 6 weeks away from the inaugural Opening Acts and VMunderground events at the start of VMworld US 2014, so we’re starting to turn the heat up on our information flow. Only a couple of items with this post, but they’re important:

1) We’re starting our sponsor announcements. These are the folks that allow us to put these events in motion; please bookmark our 2014 Sponsor page and show some love to all the companies and organizations that appear here. Plan to visit them during the show, too, and let them know you appreciate their involvement.

2) We officially announced the ticketing & registration for Opening Acts. We told everyone when & where it’s happening; we also told everyone that OpeningActs (The Sessions) and VMunderground (The Party) will share the same venue but occupy different time slots. If you’re the savvy IT folks we know you to be, you’ve figured out where the evening’s activities will take place.

3) Given the proximity of The Party to the main VMworld campus, we have no doubt that people who hesitated to attend last year (due to distance) will be flocking to it this year. This means we are going to have a paid ticket process similar to last year–a variety of times and days-of-week to cover the global community, plus some special releases at some VMware Community events–with details on the process & “rules of engagement” to be announced.

That’s all for now, but keep this blog site bookmarked for additional details and announcements!

Tickets and Registration

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With registration for VMworld 2014 opened and the content catalog available for scheduling, the VMunderground team is starting to get questions about how to get into The Party.

As in previous years, The VMunderground Party will be open to ticket holders first; then as long as there’s capacity, conference badge holders will be admitted.

TL;DR: You can get a free ticket by receiving one from a sponsor or participating in Opening Acts. Paid tickets will be announced at a later time. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing: Opening Acts

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As has been intimated on Twitter and through teasers on the vCommunity Podcast, the #VMunderground and #vBrownBag teams have joined forces for 2014 to bring a new type of community-driven event to anyone willing to come into San Francisco for VMworld 2014 a little bit early.

While it’s true that the mission of the two organizations are quite different in their approach to community participation—#vBrownBag is about education and happens year-round, independently of VMworld; #VMunderground is a party held prior to VMworld US—we do have some important synergies:

  • We are all about community participation
  • We absolutely support the “work hard+play hard” ethos

So how do these things come together, yet avoid kicking the shins of the VMworld giant as well as avoid cannibalizing #vBrownBag TechTalks? We believe we’ve got something here…

We are pleased to introduce “Opening Acts.”

Opening Acts will be a series of group/panel discussions over the course of a few hours on Sunday afternoon. Whiteboards will be present, but no slides or PowerPoint.

Like a concert, where you have a major big-name act that draws the crowd, an opening act is often used to warm up the audience, get the mood and tone set for the headliner. The VMunderground party has often referred to itself as a “Warm-up Party (as a Service);” Opening Acts is going to be a Warm-up Pre-con (as a Service). The idea is to get discussions started to get into the mindset for the conference.

And here’s where you—our community—come into the picture: We need feedback on what needs to be covered—and who you think should be there—to help push the conversation. We’ll have time and space set aside for sessions, but the number, topic and duration of each will be determined by those planning to attend. Nothing is off limits: Want to start to the discussion early on disruptive new technologies like hyperconvergence or the growth of flash storage in the datacenter? Fine. Want to chat about licensing challenges in a multi-vendor infrastructure? Fine. Want to talk about techniques to study and prep for certification? You bet. Do you think the authors from the five top vBlogs for 2014 (Duncan Epping, William Lam, Frank Denneman, Cormac Hogan and Scott Lowe) should be there? Sure: we’ll ask them—and any other community members you suggest in the form—to come join us.

Please give us a few minutes of your time to complete this Google Form so we can get a sense of what will be of most interest. It shouldn’t take long, but will give us valuable input into making this a great event.