VMworld

Don’t Attend VMworld Alone

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To all VMworld conference attendees: We are really glad you’ve chosen to attend VMworld US 2014 in San Francisco. As a member of the VMware community, VMworld is the place to be to learn about the latest news, products, and trends from VMware. But don’t come alone…bring your spouse, partner, friend, or family member and let Spousetivities take care of them!

Since VMworld 2008, Spousetivities has been organizing activities for spouses, partners, friends, and family members of VMworld conference attendees. The first and only community-driven and community-oriented program of its kind, Spousetivities is back again for VMworld 2014. San Francisco, here we come!

First, let’s get some important details out of the way. Spousetivities wouldn’t be possible without the support of some great sponsors! These sponsors help subsidize the cost of the various activities as well as cover the costs of things like prizes, the free “Get to Know You” breakfast, and more. This year, Spousetivities is sponsored by:

Second, although it’s called “Spousetivities,” it’s not just for spouses! Partners, significant others, close friends, family members…all are welcome. If you’re attending VMworld 2014 and have someone traveling with you but not attending the conference, send them our way. We’ve got some great activities lined up.

Speaking of activities…let’s see what’s on the plate for this year!

  • The famous “Get to Know You” breakfast, held again at Jillian’s this year
  • Mission Street food tour
  • Kayaking on the Russian River
  • Whale watching
  • And wine, of course!

Stay tuned for an agenda of the activities and more details on each of the activities. Registration is now open; just visit http://vmworld2014-spousetivities.eventbrite.com. You’ll want to sign up right away—activities fill up quickly!

See you in San Francisco!

Spousetivities, Unitrends, Prizes

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Everyone knows the Spousetivities breakfast is a great place to try and win cool prizes. Now, Spousetivities and Unitrends offers you another chance to win. What do you need to do to win? Here’s the contest info:


Unitrends ❤’s Spousetivities Drawing! Enter to win!

One grand prize winner will receive a 32GB iPad

Five additional winners will receive a Unitrends Swag Bags (worth over $100!)

How to enter:

Show some twitter love and tweet about sponsors or Spousetivities happenings using #UnitrendsVMworld and #Spousetivities to receive an entry into a random drawing.

Receive 5 bonus entries by attaching a Unitrends-related pic (Unitrends logo, wearing a Unitrends or Spousetivities t-shirt… heck grab a crayon and hold up a sign showing us your love)!

This is a great way to thank one of our sponsors and get a chance at some cool prizes, too! Contest starts Monday, August 26 and concludes on Wednesday, August 28 at midnight. Happy Tweeting!

6th Annual Spousetivities at VMworld

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It’s that time of year again—time for Spousetivities at VMworld US 2013, in awesome San Francisco, CA! For the sixth consecutive year, Spousetivities is proud to announce activities organized for spouses, partners, friends, and family members traveling to San Francisco with VMworld conference attendees. In this year’s lineup of activities, we’ll have some perennial favorites as well as some entirely new adventures.

Here are the details:

  1. First, and most importantly, Spousetivities is open to both men and women, and not just spouses—boyfriends, girlfriends, domestic partners, friends, and family members are all welcome. The more the merrier!
  2. Second, please note that there is a small registration fee for each activity. While I’m usually lucky enough to get some sponsors to help defray the costs of the activities—this year we have Intel, Unitrends, Virtualization Practice, Train Signal, and VMUG as sponsors (thank you!)—I still have to cover the remaining costs. (Note that registration fees are nonrefundable.)
  3. Finally, you must register in advance for all activities. As soon as you’re ready to register, head over to the registration page.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can hit me up via Twitter at @spousetivities.

Now, on to the event descriptions! Let’s take a quick peek at what I’ve got lined up for you this year:

  • We’ll kick off the week with our usual “Get to Know You” breakfast, held again this year at Jillian’s (right around the corner from Moscone—you can walk your honey to the conference, then hop over to breakfast!). Breakfast will run from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM, and it will be a time of eating, meeting new folks, and winning some cool prizes! Breakfast will also be when you’ll get your goodie bag, which will include—you guessed it—the now-famous Spousetivities T-shirts! This year’s theme: Software-Defined Sweeties! (Trust me, your IT hubby/wife/partner will think this is hilarious!)
  • After breakfast, you have your option of either a walking city tour or a trip to Muir Woods. The walking city tour will take you to places like Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, Coit Tower, and more! Prefer something a bit more nature-focused? The trip to Muir Woods will give you the opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring redwoods. Both adventures—the walking city tour and the Muir Woods trip—will depart shortly after breakfast on Monday.
  • Tuesday, I’ve arranged for a whale watching tour! It’s an early start—we’ll be leaving the Marriott Marquis at 7:00 AM—but you’re in for a great time watching whales in the Gulf of the Farallones. Even better, 25% of the proceeds go to the Sea Shepherd Conversation Society to help save the whales. Enjoy nature and help preserve nature at the same time. What could be better?
  • Two options await you on Wednesday. For those that are new to San Francisco, I’ve arranged a city bus tour (by private bus, with a tour guide—naturally!). Leaving at 10 AM from the Marriott Marquis, your guide will not only take you to the tourist attractions, but will also show you some areas known only to the locals. Lunch (a Dim Sum lunch) is included. Alternately, if you’ve “been there, done that,” then you can participate in a great wine tour in Sonoma. We’ll visit both Benziger and Domaine Carneros for wine tastings, and enjoy an upscale boxed lunch while at Benziger. The wine tour departs the Marquis at 9 AM. Either way, you’ll be back in time to join your conference-attending partner to visit the VMworld party on Wednesday night, should you so desire. (Please note that passes for the Wednesday night party must be purchased through VMworld registration.)
  • On Thursday, we’ll depart the Marriott Marquis at 10AM for a special tour of the Botanical Gardens at UC Berkeley. Lunch in included (of course!), and our tour guide will be able to share some of the history of the campus. There’ll also be some time for shopping—actual shopping or just window shopping, your choice—in the area near the campus.

Sounds like a great line-up, doesn’t it? I urge you to register early (and often!), as these activities have a tendency to sell out. You don’t want to get left behind! Head on over to the registration page now and get signed up to have fun, meet new folks, see old friends, and have a great time at VMworld US 2013!

Celebrity Chef, IBM Edge, and Spousetivities!

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Are you thinking of bringing your spouse, partner, or significant other to IBM Edge?  Have they joined you before and Vegas was great once or twice but now they are done with the whole Vegas scene?  Well, here is a great way to get them excited about going back!  Spousetivities are available for them while you attend the conference.  Spousetivities you say?  Yes indeed!  Spousetivities offers fun day tours for conference attendee families each day of the event.  Some of the activities being offered during IBM Edge include a Hoover Dam tour, walking food tour that is a must do, Red Rocks tour, and a tour to a local ranch that includes a cooking session with a celebrity chef.  Did you hear that?  A celebrity chef!!! 

Chef Phillip Dell is not only premiering on Food Network’s “Chopped”, but he also has an amazing story to share with everyone.  He operates Sin City Chefs and his story is one of success over a battle with his weight.  As one might imagine, having a job that revolves around food, weight could be a constant area of difficulty.  Don’t miss the opportunity to meet Phillip, hear his story, and learn from this popular Las Vegas chef.

I look forward to seeing each of you there!   You can register here right now so you don’t miss this and all the great activities happening in just a few short weeks!  If you ever have questions or ideas, please feel free to contact me via my About Page.

See you in VEGAS!

Spousetivities at IBM Edge 2013!

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I’m very excited to announce Spousetivities has expanded again to include another new conference this year: IBM EDGE 2013! That’s right, Spousetivities will be on hand in Las Vegas, NV during IBM EDGE 2013 to provide safe, enjoyable activities for spouses, domestic partners, significant others, and family members who might be traveling with conference attendees.

If you’re planning on attending IBM EDGE this year and haven’t considered bringing your spouse/partner/significant other, please reconsider! Likewise, if you’re the spouse/partner/significant other of a conference attendee and haven’t considered traveling to Las Vegas because you don’t want to sit in a hotel room bored all day, please reconsider!

You can visit the IBM EDGE 2013 Spousetivities registration page to sign up for any the activities we’ve planned that week.

Here’s a quick sneak peek at what I’ve arranged for you:

  • Monday, June 10: We’ll start the week with our ever-popular “Welcome Breakfast,” where you’ll not only get some great food, but also have the opportunity to meet other activity participants. Some great friendships have been forged at the Spousetivities Welcome Breakfast! We’ll also be having drawings for some great giveaways, so please plan on being there! Following the breakfast, we’ve arranged an awesome “Foodie Tour” of Vegas that is simply not to be missed.

  • Tuesday, June 11: On Tuesday we’ve arranged for a unique tour that combines not only the excitement of the Vegas Strip but also the intense natural beauty of the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. Talk about opposites!

  • Wednesday, June 12: Wednesday’s activity is very unique. Spousetivities has arranged for a special barbecue cooking class with celebrity chef Chef Dell. While Chef Dell has a passion for barbecue, he has an even greater passion for helping others feel confident in the kitchen. You’ll enjoy a limo ride to the ranch, a cooking class with Chef Dell, and an enjoyable barbecue lunch at the rustic cowboy ranch house afterward.

  • Thursday, June 13: If you haven’t been the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, then this is the tour for you! You’ll enjoy private luxury coach transportation, breakfast, lunch on the Hualapai Indian Reservation at the West Rim, and breathtaking views of the United States’ most fabulous natural wonders.

  • Friday, June 14: The week’s activities wrap up on Friday with the opportunity to take a tour of Hoover Dam (including the dam’s inner workings!), followed by a relaxing deli lunch before an incredible cruise on the beautiful Desert Princess. Just what you need to unwind after a fun-filled week!

All these activities are in addition to discounts on spa services at THE Bathhouse at Mandalay Bay, such as massages, manicures, pedicures, and facials. Who could ask for more?

All of these activities do require registration, so be sure to visit the registration page to sign up for the activities in which you’d like to participate. And don’t delay, because space is limited—you won’t want to miss out!

Tweet Together Win Together

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Hi everyone, it’s Crystal again, and I’m really excited about this announcement. This year, Spousetivities has the opportunity to bring you a whole new activity at VMworld! This activity will bring the conference attendee and spouse together to try and win fabulous prizes.

Intel and Spousetivities have joined forces to create a fun scavenger hunt that will allow both the VMworld conference attendee and the Spousetivities participant to participate together. Here’s how it works: couples will take specific pictures and tweet them according to a set of guidelines. Couples that find all the items on the scavenger hunt will qualify to be invited to an exclusive evening event hosted at Jillian’s on Thursday, August 30th. At this party, we’ll have a drawing to award qualifying couples great prizes like Ultrabooks, iPads, iPods, and much, much more. Keep in mind that you must be present to win, and you must first satisfy the rules of the scavenger hunt in order to get an invite to this exclusive Thursday night event.

So what’s on the scavenger hunt? We’ve tailored the items for the conference attendee as well as the Spousetivities participant:

  • Conference attendees will take pictures of key information and booth staff at participating vendors and post those pictures to Twitter. EMC and Dell have joined with us to be a part of this fun activity, including donating prizes to be awarded at the Thursday night event.
  • Spousetivities participants will take pictures during their adventures in San Francisco and surrounding areas, and post the pictures to Twitter. I’ll have more details on photo requirements soon. Make sure you get registered for the activities.

Once both the conference attendee and the Spousetivities participant have completed their part of the challenge, they’ll receive an invitation to the exclusive Thursday night event, brought to you by Intel.

Of course everyone wins when you get to spend time together with friends and colleagues enjoying food and drinks!  So get on Twitter and get ready to win with Intel, Spousetivities, Dell, and EMC!

Want to Win Train Signal’s New Video Training Course by Scott Lowe?

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As many of you know, Train Signal has sponsored Spousetivities for three years now.  Their sponsorship, along with the support of our other sponsors, has allowed us to offer activities that keep your loved ones occupied and entertained while you attend VMworld.  By now you probably thought Spousetivities was only focused on the conference attendee spouses, right?  Not this time! Spousetivities and Train Signal have teamed up to provide you, the VMworld conference attendee, a chance for a great prize. That’s right, not only does your spouse have a chance to win one of many great prizes, but you do too!

What can you win? How does the new Designing VMware Infrastructure video training by Scott Lowe sound? It sounds great, you say? Now that I have your attention, let me give you a little more information.  Train Signal has continually offered the IT community fabulous training courses that are easy to follow.  They are offered in DVD and online streaming format so you can watch and learn when you have time and at your own pace.  Designing VMware Infrastructure continues Train Signal’s dedication to excellence and is the perfect VCAP-DCD 5 Certification prep tool.

How do you win? It’s easy! When you register your spouse for Spousetivities, or when your spouse registers, simply check the “Yes” box when asked if you’d like to win. You’ll need to enter your e-mail address. See, it really is that simple. 

Don’t delay, register now for your chance to win this package valued at almost $400! You simply can’t lose with Spousetivities and Train Signal!

VMworld 2012 Activity Highlight: Napa Pizza and Wine

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Hello again, Crystal here and I’m back to tell you more about one of the outstanding activities I have planned for Spousetivities at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco. This time I want to talk about the Napa Pizza and Wine event, scheduled for Thursday, August 30, at 10:00 AM.

Much like the Sonoma Wine and Dine event on Monday, this activity gives Spousetivities participants the EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITY to visit both William Hill Estate Winery and the Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena. You’ll start the day on a private bus headed to the William Hill Estate Winery. At this near-legendary 200-acre estate (of which 140 acres are planted), you’ll enjoy a personalized 1 hour tour and wine tasting. The bus will then take you to the Louis M. Martini winery, where you’ll have another personalized tour. However, that’s not all–participants will also get to take part in an interactive tasting and pairing activity. You’ll get to explore the nuances of food and wine pairing and experience first-hand how your palate responds when wine is paired with ingredients of various tastes and textures. (Oh, and along the way you’ll be making your own pizza. Cool, huh?)

You’ll come away from the Napa Pizza and Wine experience with not only a great day’s worth of memories, but newfound knowledge on the foundations of taste science and wine pairing. What an opportunity!

You can sign up for the Napa Pizza and Wine event at the VMworld 2012 Spousetivities registration page. Don’t miss out!

VMworld 2012 Activity Highlight: Sonoma Wine and Dine

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Hi everyone, this is Crystal, and I wanted to take a moment to highlight one of the activities planned for VMworld 2012 in San Francisco. As you know, I have a great line-up of activities planned for VMworld 2012, and with so many great activities it can be hard to choose between activities sometimes. With that in mind, allow me to highlight one great activity that I don’t want you to overlook: the Sonoma Wine and Dine!

Scheduled for Monday, August 27, at 10:30 AM (immediately following our famous “Get to Know You” breakfast), the Sonoma Wine and Dine is a great opportunity to visit a winery that is NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. That’s right, folks–Spousetivities has scored an exclusive opportunity to visit MacMurray Ranch!

If you’re like me, you might not have heard of MacMurray Ranch. MacMurray Ranch sits in the Russian River Valley, surrounded by the foothills and mountains of the Pacific Coastal Range. The ranch encompasses 1,700 acres and was first settled over 150 years ago by the Porter family. The ranch was purchased in the 1940s by actor Fred MacMurray, who farmed it for over 50 years. The ranch’s rich diversity of soil gives MacMurray Ranch wines their rich aroma and depth of flavor. This private ranch is NOT OPEN to the public–only by signing up with Spousetivities will you get the opportunity to tour this beautiful property.

Participants who select this activity will enjoy a private bus to MacMurray Ranch and a 1 hour personalized tour–including a wine tasting–of this beautiful and oh-so-exclusive property. Following the tour of MacMurray Ranch, participants will head over to Gallo of Sonoma Winery for another personalized 1 hour tour and another wine tasting, followed by a picnic lunch with local salads, meats, sandwiches, cheeses, and more! After the conclusion of the second tour, tasting, and lunch, participants will ride back to San Francisco in their private bus.

This is a fabulous event and I’m so thrilled to offer participants this opportunity. Don’t hesitate–head over to the registration page and sign up for the Sonoma Wine and Dine today!

VMworld 2012 Spousetivities Registration Now Open

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It’s time once again for VMworld, and you know what that means—it’s time for Spousetivities at VMworld again! This year VMworld will be back in San Francisco, and I’ve been working hard to put together a fantastic line-up of activities for you. Registration is already open, so click here to visit the registration page and sign up. Read on if you want more details on the activities.

Here’s a quick look at the activities we have planned for you:

  • On Monday, August 27, we’ll get the week started with our “Get to Know You” breakfast. There, you’ll enjoy some great food and some great company as you meet other participants and get more information on the various events throughout the week. Last-minute signups for activities with available seats will be accepted at the breakfast, but I don’t recommend waiting—a lot of these activities are going to sell out!
  • After the breakfast, you’ll have the option of doing either the City Walking Tour OR the Sonoma Wine and Dine trip. The Sonoma trip is out of this world (I have a separate post just about that waiting to be published), but if you’re a first-timer in San Francisco the City Walking Tour will hit all the highlights: Pier 39, Coit Tower, and Ghirardelli Square.
  • Tuesday offers participants the option of either a Muir Woods/Sausalito tour (by private bus, of course!) or the Ferry Building Tour and Tasting. The Ferry Building food tour will expose you to some great cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate. (In case you’re wondering what charcuterie is, I was wondering too—it’s a term used for cold cooked meats.)
  • Wednesday is a short day (to get you back in time for the VMworld party that night, featuring Jon Bon Jovi) with only the Half Moon Bay/Filoli tour. Lunch is included!
  • Thursday has two options from which you can choose: the SF City Tour (by private bus with a local tour guide) or the Napa Pizza and Wine tour. I’m really excited about the Napa Pizza and Wine tour; look for more information on that event soon. Both are great events.

As usual, there will be prizes and giveaways, the famous vWife T-shirts (I’ll also have some gender-neutral shirts for anyone who needs them), and bags filled with goodies. All in all, Spousetivities at VMworld 2012 is shaping up to be a great event, and I’m looking forward to seeing all of you there!

Of course, some great sponsors help make these events possible, so I’d like to take a moment to thank (in alphabetical order) eGroup, HyTrust, Train Signal, VMUG, The Virtualization Practice, and Xangati. (If you’re a vendor looking for an innovative way to raise awareness, please contact me—I have sponsorship slots still available.)

Don’t delay—sign up today!

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