10 tips for VMworld 2011 newbies

Attending VMworld for the first time can be a bit daunting, so try these expert tips out

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VMworld tip No. 8: Don't count on the Wi-Fi connection. This is VMworld. There will be more than 15,000 other people just like you who want to connect their laptops, smartphones, and tablets to any one of the publicized Wi-Fi connections they can find during the show. If you happen to find one and obtain the secret password credentials for it, great. But even if you do, don't count on stellar speeds -- with that many connections, you may have flashbacks to a 300-baud modem connection. Because of the lack of Wi-Fi connectivity, you might also consider leaving the laptop in your room, traveling light, and going old school with a pen and pad to take notes. If you need access online and can wait, you might be able to make use of one of the many PCs or thin client stations provided by one of the sponsors of the show.

VMworld tip No. 9: The dress is business casual. Make sure comfortable shoes are included when picking out your wardrobe. This conference is in Las Vegas -- if you haven't been there before, know that you will be doing a serious amount of walking. Trust me, your feet will thank you later.

VMworld tip No. 10: Enjoy the parties! Make sure you attend the VMworld Welcome Reception on Monday night. This is a great opportunity to network, to visit with sponsors, to enjoy food and drink, and to enjoy a bit of relaxation before the craziness of the show takes place. And don't forget the VMworld party on Wednesday night, though the entertainment has been hit or miss. Two years ago, VMware brought in (or dug up, depending on how you look at it) Foreigner. For me personally, that one was a miss. Last year however, they brought in INXS, and though Michael Hutchence is no longer with us, the new lead singer, J.D. Fortune, brought it home and allowed me to relive my '80s youth. This year, VMworld has signed up The Killers to help rock the show. These guys are great performers; if you are around on Wednesday night, be sure to make this event.

Beyond the music, VMware usually throws a good party, but you'll need your badge, and it has to be a full conference pass (it isn't just for breakout sessions and meals).

If you are still looking for something to do outside of the official parties from VMware, ask around. There will be a host of unofficial parties everywhere, on just about every day of the show. Vendors from the exhibit hall are usually doing private bashes somewhere, you just need to find out when and where. Keep your eyes on Twitter feeds like #vmworld and you might just spot someone talking about one of these parties. In Vegas, well, there's always a party.

The VMUnderground operates an exclusive, free party each year on Sunday as a way to help kick things off, but these tickets are extremely hard to come by. In fact, tickets are already sold out for this year's event. If you didn't score a ticket, you might consider waiting in line outside the venue because not everyone with a ticket will show. As one of the unofficial hot-ticket items at VMworld each year, VMUnderground might get you thinking about how to get one of these tickets for next year.

These are just a few quick tips for VMworld. What about you -- do you have any other tips to share? VMworld newbies will definitely enjoy the show, but knowing a few of these tips and others in advance will certainly help them get the most out of the experience.

This article, "10 tips for VMworld 2011 newbies," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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