My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
VMworld US is still better value than VMworld EMEA
I’m in the middle of planning my VMworld trip(s) this year, now I’m no longer working for a vendor or a consultancy I have to fund my trip myself, I’m happy to do this as I view it as an excellent training & networking opportunity.
I already have a good foundation in infrastructure and virtualization technologies so I find normal training courses a bit slow, and very narrowly focused – VMworld gives you the flexibility to pick and choose your own agenda and allows you to go much deeper if you choose.
Based on a previous presentation I did for the London VMware, I still maintain that even for us Europeans, VMworld US is better value, this post represents my logic
If you want to get the lowest cost, you should
- Book early and take advantage of early-bird discounts
- Book a cheap, non-official conference hotel – often I also find the cheapest hotels have free WiFi –it might be a short walk
- You don’t need to stay in the best hotel in town, there are so many after-hours events and parties you can take advantage of you’ll just be sleeping there.
- Don’t bother booking a rate with breakfast, you can usually get it at the conference
My pricing is all in GBP where I have only been able to obtain USD$ pricing (as I live in the UK) I have converted to GBP at the current exchange rate, pricing has been taken from the Expedia.co.uk website, which is quite useful for this sort of what-if work.
VMworld Admission Price(early bird-discount)
VMworld US £990 ($1595 (early bird pricing has now expired))
There are 124 Breakout Sessions, 8 Panel Sessions & 24 Hands-on Labs.
VMworld EMEA £683 ($1100 early bird pricing still available)
There are 116 Breakout Sessions, 3 Panel Sessions & 23 Hands-on Labs.
The US conference is 1 day longer.
Hotel & Airfare
I usually try to fly out the day before the conference as it gives you a full day to get over jetlag and have a bit of time to have a look around and do some quick tourist stuff.
I then try to fly back the day after the conference has finished, this avoids the last-day rush and means you can hang around until the end and wind-down properly.
The other main reason I do this is that I had a nightmare journey once returning from Microsoft Tech-Ed in Amsterdam on the final day of the conference – 10,000+ geeks with laptops + questionable souvenirs to scan all descending on the nearest airport isn’t a fun experience.
Travelling a day before/after also means you can usually take advantage of cheaper flights – even if it costs you an extra night of hotel.
Book a Saturday in most places and you’ll find your flights and hotel are significantly cheaper.
It’s not a direct flight, you can get a direct flight for approx £300 more on this package – but we’re doing this on a budget – when flying UK to west-coast US sometimes it’s also better to do a 2-leg journey so you can get off a plane for a bit
This hotel looks to be a 30min walk (or short, cheap cab-ride) from the Venetian where the conference is being held
I’ve not stayed at this hotel, but looks pretty close, and Copenhagen has an excellent metro system, cheapest I found for flight + hotel was about £200 but it included the word hostel 🙂
I based my expenses on previous years in SF and CPH, as you’ll see there is obviously a difference, it’s about 30% more expensive to go to Las Vegas, this doesn’t factor in lost revenue/time from not being able to be at work, but the VMworld US trip involves travel over a weekend/Friday to compensate.
If you consider that VMworld US is a 4-day event compared to a 3-day event for VMworld EMEA the gap gets even closer.
Food, drink and taxis are significantly more expensive in Copenhagen than in the US
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