Last February I started working for OpenIO (an Object storage startup) and a lot of things have changed in my working life. One of the most interesting differences is that I need to stay closer to my potential customers, hence I’ve been attending different industry events than the ones I used to in the past.

In the last six months I haven’t attended a single-vendor show (some of them are actually organized by competitors and, in other cases, there is no reason because our products are thought up for different market segments) and I’ve also missed events reserved for independent influencers, for obvious reasons.

My company is focused on large capacity deployments and, for example, NAB has been a revelation for me. At the event, there were many names that I had never heard of before or which had disappeared from the traditional enterprise storage ecosystem. I was also surprised by some of the solutions I found, and will likely be so again.

Now, that said, next September is VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas. Last year I commented the event but I wasn’t very positive about VMware itself– even though the event was still interesting for networking and the overall ecosystem. This time round I’m even more doubtful. Does it make any sense for me to attend? Even the networking part won’t be the same now that I work for a vendor.

I feel conflicted. During the second half of the year I’ll be traveling a lot. I’ll be visiting several trade shows and some of them are much bigger than WMworld (like AWS Re:Invent for example).

Who will be attending VMworld this year? Is it still worth it for you? Are you thinking about deserting it and looking at something different? If so, what are you considering?

Any comments and suggestions either here or on twitter will be much appreciated.