In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be attending my fourth UK VMUG UserCon, which is set to be the biggest VMUG event in the UK this year. As usual, the UserCon is being held at the National Motorcycle Museum, close to the NEC and Birmingham Airport. This years date for the diary is Thursday 17th November. With the demise of the physical vForum event, this should be the biggest VMware related gathering in the UK this year. Nothing too special about that though, eh? Hundreds of people turn up at this thing every year. This year though, there’s something a little different from my personal perspective, as I’m helping to organise it.
As was widely covered at the time, the UK’s VMUG community was mildly disturbed last November when three of the four London / UK committee members at the time announced that they were stepping down. Slightly less widely reported maybe, but definitely mentioned by me, I was one of the folks who threw their hat into the ring to step up to try to replace all those years of experience and I ended up being successful. This wasn’t the only change everyone had to cope with though, as there was an enforced venue change for the LonVMUG meetings from the start of 2016 AND, almost in parallel with this, the VMUG organisation opened up a European HQ. Over the course of 2016, we have transitioned from working solely with the US folks to working much more closely with the new European team. Next year will be all Europe, so hopefully they’ll still be talking to us post Article 50.
So here we are almost year on, the new committee have three LonVMUG events under our belts and now the UserCon is on the horizon. I have thoroughly enjoyed the ride this year, I’ve addressed new challenges, helped spawn a Wiki, birth a podcast and have ticked off one of those bucket list items, when I “organised a piss up in a brewery” for the summer LonVMUG Luxury vBeers in conjunction with long-time VMUG contributor, Matt Northam. But now the biggest deal so far is imminent, the 7th UK UserCon. It’s in the same place as before, the same kinda format as before, you can turn up the night before and get fed and entertained and there’s a multi track, all day bonanza of VMware related delights on offer.
- A full day of community content is available, several times over, in fact. This is what VMUG is all about and we’re lucky to have so many engaging speakers in one place, covering a wide array of topics.
- A bewildering array of sponsors are supporting us and they also have presentations for you, as well as the usual booths and giveaways. A massive “Thank You” to all of the sponsors, without whom we couldn’t get this thing off the ground.
- Also, a bevvy of VMware talent is ready to regale you with all the latest happenings after what has been widely said to be the best VMworld Europe ever, both in presentations and at the CTO Ambassadors table - do take advantage of that, if you have anything you want to ask VMware.
If you missed VMworld Europe this year, come to the UserCon to catch up on all the announcements, or if you did make it to BCN, come catch up on all the other bits you missed out on and find out what we all think having had some time to digest it all.
If you’ve not signed up yet, head on over to the VMUG site to do so now! If you have signed up, take a look at the Agenda and make sure that you’ve determined if you can make it to the traditional vCurry the night before. If you were one of the earlier registrants, you would not have seen the vCurry option but it’s definitely available now. You should have received a mail about this, as you can go into your registration and make an update to confirm attendance.
Although the agenda is still subject to change (or at least a moderate level of fettling) the main bits are firmly in place. If you want to be sure of being up to date, there’s a VMUG App which will show you the content, the agenda and help you manage your day so you can get the most from it. Assuming that you have an iThing or an Android of course.
Hopefully, I will see a load of you there, please do come and say hello, let me know how you think we’re doing and at the same time, give me your idea for your own fabulous community session for a VMUG meeting in 2017! There’s a number of Local VMUGs in the UK, so if you’re thinking about this but are not sure, I will get you started, get you all the support you need. I’ve put myself through this and can point you at a number of others who’ve been on that journey with me, so I can say with some degree of confidence that you won’t regret it!
The UK UserCon is not the only one coming up though, as my friends from the Italian VMUG Community have their UserCon a couple of days before the UK, on Tuesday November 15th and we are followed by the Nordic VMUG UserCon on Wednesday 30th November. Truly a busy month!