An inside look at what to expect at VMworld 2013

VMware's CMO talks to InfoWorld about the 10th anniversary of the world's largest virtualization trade show

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InfoWorld: Budgets are still tight right now, and many companies are still holding people back from attending trade shows. What are some of the reasons why people should attend VMworld 2013 if they haven't yet registered? And how can they convince their employers that this is a good use of employee time and company money?

Matlock: First, with technology evolving so quickly, it's critical for IT leaders wanting to maintain a competitive edge to stay plugged into the new, big innovations in our industry. For one week in August, VMworld becomes the center of the IT infrastructure world. It's the one time each year where the entire ecosystem starts to articulate the big new developments that will shape the industry for the next 12 months. VMworld is the largest IT infrastructure show for a reason and this year promises not to disappoint.

We also want to make sure that when people attend VMworld, they get the most they can out of the show. Every year we host a session for VMworld attendees with tips and tricks for making the most of the show -- we've had really great feedback on that session. There is so much to do and see at VMworld! We really want to encourage attendees to set goals for their time at VMworld, so they get the most out of the experience. Our attendees can take advantage of our great Schedule Builder tool once they log in at VMworld.com, a fantastic way to browse the content catalog and start to build your schedule of sessions. Attendees should be sure to make time to walk the Solutions Exchange and take a couple of Hands-on-Labs to get the full experience. Oh, and don't forget the parties, tweet-ups, and gatherings after hours.

Besides all these great perks, VMworld has evolved to be a more targeted, productive experience for attendees. They will get a valuable and educational experience that they can then take back with them to their respective companies and make a real impact.

InfoWorld: For those people that can't physically attend this year, is there anything being made available for them to stay in touch remotely?

Matlock: Social media is not only an incredibly important for our attendees to stay connected at the show and enhance their show experience, it also encourages those who can't attend to get involved and feel like they are part of the VMworld community. During the event you can find the latest highlights, tweets and videos at VMworld.com and we recommend checking out the VMworld blog for updates as we get ready for the event. You can also download the VMworld app to stay current with everything at the show.

InfoWorld: Each year, the show seems to grow in attendance by a few thousand new virtualization enthusiasts over the previous year. How many attendees are you expecting? And does VMware have any "official advice" for any would be VMworld newbies attending this year's show?

Matlock: We've grown from 1,600 attendees in 2004 to over 20,000 attendees in 2012. We are expecting roughly 22,000 attendees this year.

Our New-V program is for first-time attendees of VMworld, and whoever wants an overview of the conference and how to get the most out of their experience is welcome to attend. We also typically do a session on Monday that gives newbies an overview of the program.

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