VMworld 2017 Las Vegas – Preparation: hotel, voting, ESTA and more…

In a couple of months VMworld 2017 will be held in Las Vegas, conference like this are overwhelming when you experience them the first time. This blog is here to help you be prepared when you walk in Mandalay conference center. This year the conference will be held in Las Vegas for the second year in a row, The Mandalay hotel is the playground. VMworld is the conference of VMware, if you are wondering what VMware offers please look at their site which is found here – VMware.com
You might wonder why already right now this blog. Hotel in the area are filling up and session voting is open so you need to act NOW!
 VMworld 2017


This blog will consist of several parts, this is the start with a preparation article.
  • Preparation VMworld 2017 – You are reading itVMworld 2017
  • My session pick VMworld 2017
  • Key takeaways for VMworld 2017 and Las Vegas
  • Blogs about VMworld during the event
  • A summarising of the most important announcements.


Let’s take a little look at things to do before you travel to VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas.

Session voting

Session voting is over now, the votes are in and people at VMware are creating the session catalog right now. so in a while you will see a catalog coming online with the session for VMworld 2017 US.

There are different kind of sessions;

  • Breakout sessions: 60mins, one or more speakers (2 max) on stage, giving a presentation with room for questions
  • Group discussion: 60mins, small group of about 20+ people, some presentation but mostly discussion from topics coming out of the group
  • Panel discussions: 60mins, a panel of people (4 max) on stage discussing about a topic, sometimes from topics given by the audience.
  • Quick talk: 30 mins, Like a break out, just the essentials.

Session scheduler

Next up would be building the schedule but that will be coming around July, I wil put that one in the blog with the key takeaways and update this one when the time is there. It’s a puzzle to find the right mix between what is possible and what you want to see. some session run more often some don’t.


Registration will open somewhere in May, until beginning of June a discount rate for early bird will be available. If you are going make use of this, it saves you money you can spend in the casino’s, on the strip or on a beer.

Prices have gone up a 100 dollar this year, the new prices are;

  • $1795, for induvidual
  • $1595, for Alumni
  • $1695, for VCP and VMUG
  • $1495, for Government
  • $1395, for Education

There are more price possibilities but these are the most common ones. As soon as the registration link is available I will update this article.

Registration has just opened up, from the 4th of April until the 12th of June the early bird fees are applicable. After that prices will rise 300 dollar for each ticket, that wil be from the 13th of June until the 25th of August. From that time on until VMworld prices will rise again with 200 dollar. So be smart and buy early.

the link for the registration is: VMworld registration. click the green button and fill in all the details.


Every year there is a bag, you get it it during registration and you can use it to store all the leaflets you get handed as well as a bottle with water during the day. So if you are ok with walking around with a VMworld bag you can travel light. Somewhere in the next months a video might appear that will show the bag, it is smart designed with room for a laptop, bottle and lots of leaflets.

Make sure you have some room in your bag to bring home some of the gifts you might get at the conference. Of course if you got time on your hands and go about visiting every vendor for gadget you need to bring a lager suitcase.


The good thing about Las Vegas is that all sessions are held in one location, no more walking from building to building but all in the same hotel. On the map you see how close the event is to the airport, it’s about 6 minutes drive which is awesome I think. Mind the Las Vegas Sign sign, it the famous sign you want a picture of, I used it in the header of the blog but you know what it is.


The event is held at the Mandalay bay hotel, the Mandalay bay hotel is also hosting a conference center.  You do want to stay a bit in the area of the conference, Las Vegas is kinda large and there is no fun in travelling every morning and evening. The Mandalay hotel is kinda pricey, they know people will stay there. There are other locations close by like the Luxor which is about 10-15mins walk from the event. The hostels around the place are fully booked already so only the hotel in the area or perhaps some AirBnB will be an option. Mandalay bay is the golden hotel on the strip, you can’t miss it.
VMworld 2017
For the shoppers, and tourists among us the location is perhaps a bummer, it’s pretty far from the real strip, we’re at the end or beginning how you look at it. There is a train going from the Mandalay hotel to the Excalibur so that you can skip that part of walking. There are shops in the walk way from Mandalay to Luxor, a number of shops there.


Once you booked the hotel you also need to make sure your ESTA, your visa to enter the US of A is done. The ESTA is valid for a while but make sure it is valid when you travel to the US. You won’t even board a plane if you haven’t taken care of that. Apply for an ESTA or check the status of an application right here – ESTA.

…and if all goes well, you are approved to visit the US

VMworld 2017


Last but not least you need to get to Vegas. So most of you will fly there, at least I am. For the European travellers there is a word of advice here.

Make sure your longest flight is a European bound flight, in and outbound. The reason for that is that travellers in the US are not that protected as in the EU. So when you travel in the US and experience delay you will not get compensated most of the time, you get a voucher for a taxi, a meal and a hotel (at 3am) and that’s it. When however you fly EU bound you will get compensated as they are bound by EU laws. This also goes for the US carriers.

So the best option is to fly from LA to Europe and not fly all over the US to NY first… as we did last year resulting in a stay in lovely New York (well far from the city). It’s just a little advice, so take it or leave it…

oh yeah and don’t fly United Airlines, they have the tendency to use force if you don’t voluntary leave the plane… 


Hope this give a little bit of insight and helps you prepare.

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