VMworld parties, fun or business?

VMworld2015LogoWhen you visit or visited VMworld before, do you or did you ever get these comments?

  • Did you have a nice holiday?
  • Did you go for the parties?
  • VMworld is not work

If so, forward this article to those people to educate them what is really going on. If you are wondering if the VMworld parties are acceptable for you, read on.

Yes, there are parties

Of course there are parties. During VMworld a lot of parties, gatherings, events and activities are taking place. Almost every vendor with a name is organizing a some kind of event. Some more extravagant than others. If you want you can get loaded every night, from Sunday till Thursday. It ranges from taking a sunset catamaran boat trip from partying all night in various clubs.

One of the things the vendors want to is thanking you for your business, but also making sure you remember their name when you get back in the office.

Yes, it is work

A lot of alliances are forged at these ‘parties’ and new friendships are created. The parties are great ways to extend your network. When you spent a night together in a club, you know what the other drinks, and make it together till the end of the night, you have something in common. Even more when you sit at breakfast with a face like ‘What happend last night?’ or ‘Do you hear the drums in my head as loud as I hear them?’. For some reason the trust between you has grown, perhaps even more than you could normally do in a ’normal’ sales cycle, project, tech support engagement. It’s hard to explain, but the next time you meet each other it is much easier and more relaxed to do business or get help with your project or day-to-day operation. So from now on we will call them network events.  Stop thinking of them as only a party, but also as an opportunity to improve your relation.

Networking of course is easier with a drink in your hand, but if you take this drink too far, you will pay for it twice. Once with your reputation and the morning after when you are too groggy to attend anything. So you generally stick to one or two beers an evening or switch to softdrinks quickly. Do remember that you got up at about 7am and you’re still up at 11pm moving through your peers. Multiply that by 4 and you’ve got your VMworld time schedule. This is why we generally advise you to take the friday off as your batteries will probably be empty by then.

So, what’s your point?

Parties are work, hard work. Period. Don’t accept that other people are downplaying it as ‘just another party’.

For the people that didn’t go to VMworld: Stop bullying your colleagues and just make sure you are here next year.