Why Sponsor Spousetivities?

With spouse activities for EMC World 2011 behind me and VMworld US 2011 right around the corner, I’m actively seeking additional sponsors for Spousetivities. So the question naturally arises: why should I sponsor Spousetivities?

Naturally, I’m a bit biased, but I think that sponsoring Spousetivities is a great way for companies to say “Thank You” and give something back to their employees and customers. When a company hosts a conference, they ultimately expect attendees to give up as much as a week of their time to come hear about their products and how these products or services can benefit them and their employers. Instead of asking attendees to come to a week-long conference and leave their families behind, a Spousetivities sponsor is telling attendees it’s OK to bring the family. While the attendee is learning about that sponsor’s products and innovations, the attendee’s family will be enjoying some great activities. And when the day is done, the attendee and his or her family can be together instead of spending that time apart. Most companies boast a family friendly attitude, and sponsoring Spousetivities is a way to show that attitude in action.

This is true not only for the sponsor companies–those companies that organized the conference–but for all companies. And the size of the company doesn’t matter; I’ve had companies both small and large decide to help sponsor Spousetivities.

In addition to supporting families, sponsoring Spousetivities offers companies a unique way to advertise. Given that their logo is put on T-shirts, menus, blogs, and other items, they have plenty of visibility in the community. Companies benefit not only from their pro-family support, but from the attention drawn to their company through these events. It’s a “win-win” situation for companies.

So, if you’re a company that wants to join in this exciting opportunity to support your employees and customers, and advertise in a unique way at the same time, simply contact me. Upcoming events include VMworld US 2011 and VMworld EMEA 2011, and I’m still seeking additional sponsors for either or both of those events. I can also plan activities for other conferences, VMUG’s, or company-hosted events. For more information, please contact me for arrangements.

2011 Activites

Hello again! It has been a while since I have posted any new content. With a new set of conferences for 2011 getting closer, new posts will be coming more rapidly, so stay tuned! For those of you new to Spousetivities, please see my about page for a little background. For those of you who have had the pleasure of participating, this year will not let you down.

First, I’d like to provide a quick update on the conferences I’ll be covering. This year I am actively planning activities for EMC World, VMworld US, and VMworld EMEA. Both EMC World and VMworld US will be held in Las Vegas, NV; VMworld EMEA will be back in Copenhagen.

For these conferences, I’m currently looking into a wide range of activities. Included in these are some traditional events as well as some that I think are over the top! I am also trying to organize very family friendly activities so that those of you attending either of the US conferences and interested in bringing your children will have options outside of the main Las Vegas area. I am hoping to get some feedback from everyone on activities and events you’d like to see this year and in years to come. I’ve been asked about having informational sessions, cooking classes, spa days, horseback riding, and of course, shopping! I am even trying to get together a “Men’s Day” at Lake Mead for the VMworld US event. After all, it’s not just ladies that are spouses and significant others. More and more women are becoming leaders in the IT industry and I want to make sure they feel like they can bring their spouses and partners to join in the fun.

I would like to thank EMC for already agreeing to sponsor activities once again. EMC is a sponsor of EMC World, VMworld US, and VMworld EMEA. I’d like to thank EMC for helping make these events possible. I am looking forward to adding more names to our list of sponsors soon. If you are a company that would like to be a part of this, please contact me right away. Last year’s sponsors got some great attention through Spousetivites!

As I continue to obtain sponsors and organize activities, I will post updates and information here. In the meantime, please post any ideas, suggestions, or feedback on activities you’d like to see at this year’s conferences in the comments.

Travel Safety

With all the media attention surrounding Americans being warned about travel in Europe, I felt it appropriate to do some research and post my findings here. While nobody is truly safe anywhere these days–including driving to the office each day or sending our children to school–there are some things that travelers in general can do to make their experience a little safer and thus, more relaxing.

  • Use common sense. For example, if there is a package with nobody nearby, walk away and notify authorities. It might be nothing, but it is always better to choose caution.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t be so anxious you have a panic attack, just make sure you are aware of things going on around you.
  • Keep your travel plans to yourself. If you are out in the city, don’t share with the world where you plan to go and what you are planning to do. Also, don’t flash any identifying information that will let a predator know where your hotel is or what room you are in.
  • Keep your money safe. You might say well, duh, on this one but people lose money all the time. In addition, Copenhagen has pickpockets that target tourists. If you have front pockets, keep your money there. If possible, bring little cash and a credit card and photo id. If you must bring cash, keep it in several different places if possible. Keep most of it in your front pocket, but some could be in your wallet or purse, your backpack, and even your sock. If you were to lose your wallet, you would not lose all of your money this way!
  • Have a record of important phone numbers. At your hotel, keep a list of important phone numbers in your safe. This list should include the US Embassy in the country you are visiting (I’ll have this information later in this post for Copenhagen, Denmark), your credit card companies, and emergency contacts in your home country. If you were to lose your phone–where most of us store this information–you would not be at a complete loss this way.
  • Notify family of your travel arrangements. Make sure that at least two friends or family members know your flight information and your hotel information. This is helpful for many reasons including in the event of an emergency.
  • Notify the US Embassy–or the Embassy for your country–of your travel plans. You can do this online. For US citizens, use this link to register your visit with the Embassy: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/
  • Know how to contact emergency officials. To reach police, ambulance, or fire personnel in Copenhagen, dial 112. To reach the Embassy for emergencies after hours, you may call +45 3341 7400. The Embassy is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. During business hours the Embassy can be reached at +45 3341 7100.
  • Be smart and know the area when traveling at night. For example, you should avoid downtown Vesterbro and Nørrebro at night.

The crime rate for Copenhagen is relatively low. There have been few threats of terrorism but the officials there realize that no area is free from threat of such attacks. The major issues that one should worry about in Denmark or pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Again, using common sense and being aware of your surroundings helps. Keep in mind that these people like to work in groups. One or more persons typically distracts the victim while the another takes your money! This is most common in busy marketplaces and on public transportation. Also, do not leave valuable items in your car if you happen to have a rental.

Again, threats will always exist but there are ways that you can lessen the chances of being a victim of crime in your own country or when traveling abroad. More information can also be found at a variety of websites including the U.S. Department of State. This post is for the purpose of giving you ideas for safe travel and a more enjoyable time when visiting Denmark next week! I look forward to meeting everyone and enjoying another fantastic round of Spousetivities!

VMworld 2008 and VMworld 2009

As I prepare for VMworld 2010 and the third year of spouse activities, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at activities from previous years. While reviewing pictures from the activities during the past two years, I find myself getting excited all over again. I’m really looking forward to making this year’s activities better than ever!

Some of you might be wondering about the origins of the term “spousetivities”. Clearly, the term is a combination of the words “spouse” and “activities”. Last year, Joep Piscaer (one of the VMworld attendees) coined the term and registered the domain for me. Thanks, Joep! My husband, Scott, worked to bring this website online so that I could share more information about the spouse activities–or the spousetivities, as they are now known–with everyone. Thanks to both Joep and Scott for their help.

The spouse activities first started in 2008, when VMworld was held in Las Vegas. About 25 spouses participated in activities that year, and we had a fun-filled 3 days of activities planned. We spent a day at the Hoover Dam, a day at the Grand Canyon, and visited various notable places there on The Strip. But the great thing about the spouse activities is that they are flexible: some people went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, others went to Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden, and still others just relaxed at the hotel spa or pool. The feedback from the activities was positive.

The next year, VMworld was held in San Francisco, and the spouse activities were bigger than ever. With VMware’s help in getting the news out, we had about 125 spouses that participated in a wide range of activities. These activities included trips to Alcatraz and Angel Island, a day trip to the wine country (and tastings at the wineries, of course), and sight-seeing in San Francisco. With the help of a few other spouses, we also arranged a day trip to Korbel and a Segway tour of the city. Again, the feedback from the participants was great and everyone indicated they had a great time.

For pictures from both the VMworld 2008 and VMworld 2009 spouse activities, visit my Facebook page.

And be sure to stay tuned for more information on the VMworld 2010 Spousetivities! I’m in the planning process now and more information will be available soon.

Spousetivities is live!

The Spousetivites web site is live! Spouse activities planning for VMworld US 2010 as well as VMworld EMEA 2010 has already started. I’ve already started lining up activities for San Francisco, with a special focus on including activites for people who have already been to San Francisco as well as activities for those new to the area. Hopefully I’ll have a wide range of activities to suit everyone’s interests. There’s still time for you to add your ideas to the mix! Speak up in the comments to add your ideas to the list of possible activities for VMworld US 2010 in San Francisco.

In addition to launching this web site, I’ve also started a new Twitter ID. If you’re a Twitter user, be sure to follow my Spousetivities Twitter account for announcements and other information.

This year is shaping up to be the best year yet! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the conferences later this year.