I'll admit it. I'm a newbie to VMworld. Yes, this is my first time. But I've been to a few Cisco Live conferences (about 10 I think) so I've been eager to experience VMworld!
I arrived at the San Francisco airport (SFO) this afternoon after a pleasant day of flying from St. Louis, and caught a cab to my hotel. FYI, it was about $50 and 25 minutes to the Westin at 3rd and Market. After checking into the hotel, I walked a couple blocks to Moscone South to check into the conference.
Self Check-In had numerous Dell laptops prompting to enter first and last names. It then found me in the system and re-prompted for my first name (I assume in case I wanted to use a nickname). I hit submit and it told me which line number to stand in to pick up my badge and lanyard.
SECURITY NOTE: I'm concerned that they didn't ask to see my ID when they gave me my badge. This has been standard procedure at Cisco Live for years and I hope they just slipped up with it being the first day.
[Follow-up: I heard back from several folks on the VMworld Help group in the SocialCast conference community site. They ARE supposed to ask for ID and VMworld staff will address this with registration folks.]
With badge in hand (or rather, around my neck), I found out I had to head to Moscone West for Materials Pickup. (Side note: I'm looking forward to getting lots of walking in this week!)
Entering Moscone West you get this scene. Note that Self Check-in is available in Moscone South AND West locations.
I decided to check out the wireless so connected to the "VMworld 2012" SSID on my iPhone. I tried browsing somewhere as a test, and a splash page popped up with a vendor advertisement (yawn) with a countdown timer ("5 seconds until launch"). However, the first time I tried it showed me this weird login screen:
I walked over to the Technical Support desk near the Southeast entrance and asked about it. They indicated that it acted weird like that and I should try it again. When I did, voila, I got connected and it immediately directed me to the VMworld Mobile website (which I had already logged into earlier in the day).
Having completed my mission for the day, I headed back to the hotel to do the "Backpack Unboxing" and take some photos, shared for you below. I'm very excited to be here and grateful for the beautiful weather (it was about 67F when I arrived this afternoon).
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