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Thoughts on a VMworld Unconference

So the “good news/bad news” that is the VMworld submission acceptance/denial notifications happened today. As is typically the case, lots of very talented people submitted proposals for what I’m sure are very informative and useful sessions were turned down. As a result, a lot of ideas were being tossed around about some sort of “unconference” where speakers whose sessions were not accepted could have an opportunity to speak.

Here are some of the ideas that were/are being tossed about:

  1. A physical “unconference” where people gather and we select people to talk. The big problem with this idea is money—who will pay for such a venue? Would we even be able to find such a venue at this stage in the game?

  2. A virtual “unconference” (perhaps associated with the vBrownbag series) that would allow people to share the sessions that were not accepted. This option offers more scalability with almost none of the cost (no venue to book and pay for, and a lot more people could potentially attend online).

  3. A series of 10-minute “flash talks” at the conference. Most people are suggesting that VMware utilize the Communities lounge for this. The benefit here is that we have the face-to-face interaction that is so valuable at events such as VMworld, and we don’t have a book a separate venue. The disadvantage? You only get 10 minutes to talk.

Personally, I’m in favor of a combination of both #2 and #3. I think it would be great for VMware to allow some “flash talks” at the event, and in combination/conjunction with that we can start/extend a series of online events to allow additional sessions to be shared as well. I don’t see any reason why both wouldn’t work, but perhaps I’m overlooking something.

Thoughts? Speak up in the comments and let’s get something rolling.

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