VMware Cancels Physical VMworld 2020 Event – Now Digital

VMware Cancels Physical VMworld 2020 Event – Now Digital

April 16, 2020 Off By Hoofer

By David Marshall

With the continued spread of the coronavirus, large trade show events have been cancelling left and right throughout 2020.  One of the major fears comes from the gathering of thousands of people in one space, shaking hands and interacting up close and personal with one another.  All signs of a positive event, but now, a liability in the face of a contagious virus.

One of the largest trade show events covered by VMblog each year is VMworld, the virtualization and cloud computing event put on by VMware, bringing together 20,000+ like minded individuals in search of education, products, certification and more.  The event takes place each year at the end of August and into September.  And because it was later in the year, we’ve had high hopes that the VMworld event would be spared the same outcome as every other technology event that’s been scheduled from February to July of this year — cancellation or going digital.  

We’ve been closely monitoring for an update on VMworld, and that message came down from VMware.

VMworld 2020 (both in the US and EMEA) will, like so many others, be going digital.  The live, in person event is being cancelled, which marks 2020 as the first year since the event first began in 2004 that we won’t have a physical event. 

VMware stated that they have been monitoring and evaluating the situation around COVID-19 to ensure the company is taking the necessary measures to protect the health and well being of VMworld 2020 attendees, customers, partners and employees.  Because the virus is still front and center, VMware decided to transition VMworld 2020 to a global, digital event the week of Sept. 28th, cancelling the physical events currently scheduled in August for San Francisco and November for Barcelona.

“Each year we look forward to hosting our customers, partners and employees from around the world at our premiere VMworld events for industry perspective, education and networking with peers,” said Sanjay Poonen, chief operating officer, Customer Operations, VMware. “While we are disappointed that we will not be together in-person with our community this year, we are excited to host VMworld as a global digital experience.”

One piece of good news is that VMware does have a framework already in place to create a large gathering of virtual attendees.  They’ve been doing that with their larger scale Virtual VMware User Group (VMUG) events for years.  Virtual VMUGs, like their physical sibling VMworld, have keynote sessions, breakout sessions, hands on labs, vendor booths, and a place where attendees can come together and chat.  But, like any other physical-to-virtual event, it just cannot compare to the quality of attendee-to-attendee, and vendor-to-attendee interactions that you get with a physical event.  And as such, a missing physical VMworld event will be a hard pill to swallow for many.

In an announcement, VMware said that the digital VMworld event will take place the week of September 28th, and it will enable remote participation and collaboration from anywhere in the world.  They went on to say, “VMware is committed to ensuring that the digital event reflects the VMworld experience that so many in the industry have come to know and love.  In this new format, attendees can still hear about innovative new technology solutions, perspective from VMware executives, dive into educational and technical content, and engage with experts across the industry ecosystem.”

For those looking to have that physical connection, VMware also seemed optimistic that they would be able to deliver regional, smaller, physical gatherings later this autumn.


About the Author

David Marshall is an industry recognized virtualization and cloud computing expert, an eleven time recipient of the VMware vExpert distinction, and has been heavily involved in the industry for the past 20+ years.  To help solve industry challenges, he co-founded and helped start several successful virtualization software companies such as ProTier, Surgient, Hyper9 and Vertiscale. He also spent a number of years transforming desktop virtualization while at Virtual Bridges.

David is an author of two very popular server virtualization books and the Technical Editor on Wiley’s “Virtualization for Dummies” and “VMware VI3 for Dummies” books.  David authored countless articles for a number of well known technical magazines, including: InfoWorld, Virtual-Strategy and TechTarget.  In 2004, he founded the oldest independent virtualization and cloud computing news site, VMblog.com, which he still operates today.

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