Rumor !!! VMworld US 2010 and VMworld Europe 2010 in same month

Twitter is a great source of information confirmed and unconfirmed. I just learned from a tweet by vegard_s that VMware has plans to hold VMworld US and VMworld Europe as a back-to-back event. In other words, VMworld Europe will be held in Q4 2010 which will be very close to VMworld US.

Behind the account of vegard_s is the name of Vegard Sagbakken who works at VMware as Technical Account Manager in the Nordic region. As far as the rumor mill tells me, this is a deciscion on CEO / CTO level and it looks like this rumor will be confirmed soon as being correct. Now, what has gotten into VMware to do this? I can’t think of big pro’s of holding the two events close to eachother, in fact, everything that comes to mind is against holding those two events so close together. Lets look at some arguments against.

The techies

  • As a consultant, especially in these times, it is hard to get training and even harder to get your boss pay for a trip to an event like VMworld or Microsoft TechEd. With both events held in the same quarter I can be sure that I can only go to one. Even Microsoft recognized this by holding TechED US and Europe at different times.
  • When the events were held further apart, I could often make a case in which the Europe event was especially good for networking and early previews. This helped me advise my customers to go a certain direction without having the final products. The US event would show me the final product and supply much more detailed info. But now it will be hard to tell the difference between the two events and even harder for me to tell my boss the difference and that I want to visit the US event rather then the Europe event. Long story short, no more US visits.
  • The great thing about VMworld (US and Europe) has always been meeting those people you always have contact with over twitter, e-mail, MSN, etc, etc and now get to meet them in person. Which (luckily) is always of much more value then only digital contact. By seperating these two events, this sort of contact between “those” from the US and “them” from Europe will slowly degrade. A pitty. Remember that VMware always has been seen as some sort of religion (http://www.virtualgipsy.com) and those followers want to meet to strengthen their believe.

The Press

  • How can the press choose between both events? Will VMware make Europe an exact copy of US? Then all the news will be released in the US and the European press will have nothing new to report or has to sent their reports to the US. In either way, the event in Europe will degrade.
  • Maybe some news will be released in the US and some more in Europe. So as a press agancy, I will have to sent my reporters to two events for just a few scoops and for 80% (???) of double content. Is this still worth the investment for the press agancy?

The Vendors

I’m conviced that large vendors like Dell, HP, IBM, NetApp, etc, etc will have the money and the people to be at two places in almost the same time. But they do have larger booths which they now at least have to have an extra copy of to be able to attend US and Europe. Maybe they already have and it is not a real problem for these large vendors. But I’m certain that the smaller vendors like Veeam, VizionCore, vKernel, DataCore, etc will have quite a challange attending both events.

  • Doug Hazelman from Veeam ( http://www.veeam.com) about his opinion on this rumor: “Well Gabe, if this rumor is true, I think it will present a challenge for smaller ecosystem vendors who will need to cover two conferences in different parts of the world.”
  • Mr. Steve Beaver from vWire ( http://www.vwire.com ) said: “I look forward having the opportunity to goto both and this might really put a damper on those plans since it is too much travel in such a short period of time for me. I would guess it would be very rough on any company having to put out all the money at one time to be a part of both conferences at basically the same time.”

What is the reason behind this?

I still can’t figure it out, so I e-mailed VMware to ask more info on their descision. As soon as I receive this info, I will add it to this blog post.