Let’s go to Barcelona!

After wrapping up the 8th annual Spousetivities at VMworld US in San Francisco, it is full steam ahead to VMworld EMEA 2015, once again in beautiful Barcelona, Spain! Let’s face it, leaving your partner behind while you head to another weeklong conference doesn’t gain you many points in the relationship. This year, why not bring him or her with you? He or she can check out what Spousetivities has planned for them while you are busy networking and soaking up knowledge at the conference.

Like the US event, Spousetivities will have some goodies to give away for participants. The first 25 to register will get a backpack with great gifts from our sponsors. Who are these sponsors, you ask? This year we can thank VMware NSX for their Gold Sponsorship. Spousetivities is also pleased to thank Brocade, Cisco, VMUG, The Virtualization Practice, EMC Elect, and Thinware for their support of these events.

If that isn’t enough to get you or your sweetie excited, how about one of the following tours available at 40% off the public tour pricing (again, thanks to our amazing sponsors):

  • Montserrat and Wine Country – The group will head for a visit at the impressive Monastery of Montserrat. Most visitors will have the opportunity to hear the famous Boys’ Choir perform (not guaranteed). You will also visit the “Moreneta de Montserrat”, one of the black Madonnas of Europe, and enjoy a light walk to Santa Cova, where the black Madonna is said to have originally been found and rescued. The tour will then depart Montserrat and the group will enjoy a fantastic lunch of local Catalan country cuisine in a traditional restaurant at the base of Montserrat. Lunch will be followed by a private field tour, guided visit and three-product wine and cava tasting at one of the premier, small, boutique wineries of the region.

  • Costa Brava & Medieval Girona – Guests will visit charming fishing villages, local markets, city gardens, and enjoy short walks to secluded beaches and great panoramic lookout points over this Mediterranean paradise. The Girona city tour takes you through the rich history of one of Spain’s most charming, medieval walled cities that has been very well preserved since it was founded by the Romans in the 1st century. On this journey through time, guests will also enjoy a four-course lunch, in a traditional local restaurant, that includes wine, salads, olives, grilled meats and fish dishes.
  • Wines of Catalunya – One cannot visit Spain without getting some insight into their distinctive wine making. Guests will head out for a truly unique and personalized opportunity to enjoy authentic local flavors via food and wine tasting in private, boutique cellars of the Penedès. We will have wine and food all day in a casual and relaxed pace and manner. Guests visit charming, small, boutique wineries where the local, resident wine makers host Spousetivities participants personally and exclusively. A traditional meal of Catalan fare will be served at one of the venues while you enjoy extensive and varied pours of whites, rosés and reserve reds and cavas.
  • Medieval Mountain Village & Panoramic Trails – Guests begin the day of adventure by exploring a village’s winding cobblestone streets and stone houses dating back more than 500 years. With photo opportunities galore, time will still be made for a quaint break for coffee (or tea) and a pastry before more exploring the streets of this medieval town. This is a day of great mountains, excellent views, amazing history and a superb four-course restaurant lunch in a traditional Catalan country restaurant. For those who wish, we will duck out of the village for a great light hike through wooded trails and cliff-top look outs, streams, rivers, waterfalls and spectacular views of deep river canyons and the forested valleys. Non-hikers can relax on a river-view terrace and enjoy the sun, beverages and a book until the others return.

    Don’t wait–register today!


Celebrating Our Global Gold Sponsors

Spousetivities would not be where and what it is today without the generous support of sponsors, including this year’s Global Gold sponsors (in alphabetical order): Brocade, Cisco, VMware NSX, and VMUG. But why does Spousetivities have sponsors? To understand the answer to that question, you need to look at this history of Spousetivities.

Spousetivities originated in 2008, at VMworld in Las Vegas. I decided that I was tired of the typical business trip with my husband, Scott Lowe. He loved having me travel with him, and I loved going. Being there alone, though, was not my favorite thing. Long story short, Spousetivities was born! (The name came from the community and is a shortened version of “spouse activities”.)

As the idea grew, it became apparent that I could no longer keep offering public tours having everyone buy tickets separately. What if someone missed a bus? Or accidentally purchased the wrong tour? There were too many potential issues. Once again, the community supported me and gave me the idea that I find companies (sponsors) willing to not only “talk the talk” but actually “walk the walk” when it comes to creating a family friendly environment and supporting work-life balance.

Because of these incredible companies, Spousetivities has been able to offer activities to the friends, family, and loved ones of those attending VMworld for 8 years. To thank a few of them, this is a spotlight post on our Global Gold sponsors for 2015. Here they are, again in alphabetical order:

  • Please welcome Brocade this year as a fantastic new sponsor of the Spousetivities community. Brocade’s support means that you get to enjoy time out in the wonderful city of San Francisco without breaking the bank.
  • Also welcome Cisco Systems to the family of supporters that faithfully support Spousetivities each year. Cisco’s support has allowed these activities to be offered at reduced cost, while still allowing them to be both exclusive and private (like our wine tour outings this year!).
  • For the second year in a row, VMware NSX is supporting Spousetivities in a big way. As the sponsor of the ever popular “Get to Know You” breakfast, VMware NSX continues to promote a healthy perspective on work/life balance to families.
  • Finally, for the 5th year in a row, the folks at VMUG are continuing their support of Spousetivities. Their support is not only via funding to keep your costs low, but also by providing “behind the scenes” support as well to help enhance the experience of Spousetivities each year. Being community-minded themselves, VMUG understands the need to support the IT community as a whole.

In short, Spousetivities can only do what it does (offer fantastic activities at reasonable prices) thanks to the support of some great sponsors. If you’re traveling to VMworld this year, either as a spouse or as a conference attendee who is bringing your spouse, please take the time to thank Spousetivities sponsors for their commitment and dedication to community, family, and a healthy work-life balance.

Finally, don’t forget to register for Spousetivities before the events sell out!


Registration, Cooking, and Thanks

You’ve been asking for it, waiting for it, and anticipating it. Registration is now open for Spousetivities at VMworld 2015!

This year, on opening day, Spousetivities is offering a cooking class with Sur la Table. This will be an opportunity to learn to cook some local flare. The tour will take place after the breakfast. We will take a private bus to the venue and learn to cook some delicious dishes. There will be time to visit the store to buy various spices, cooking gadgets, and other supplies.

The remainder of the week is also filled with some exciting activities including exclusive tours at some of EJ Gallo’s most pristine properties. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days. In the meantime, check out what some of our sponsors are doing to innovate the technology world.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors for making 2015 a great year of family friendly events at VMworld!

Global Gold Sponsors 2015

VMware NSX

Cisco Systems

Brocade

VMUG

US Gold Sponsors 2015

Unitrends

Infinio

SolidFire

CloudPhysics

Rackspace

Global Silver Sponsors 2015

The Virtualization Practice

EMC Elect

US Silver Sponsors 2015

Thinware vBackUp

Ravello Systems

Prize Sponsors

Arkin Networks

Cumulus Networks

Wine Shop at Home


EMC World Spousetivities Wrap-Up

First and foremost, I must send a huge thank you to EMC, eGroup, and Brocade for making the first ever EMC World Spousetivities a big success. We had more than 50 people in attendance at the various activities. The feedback was all positive and everyone had a great time.

Participants enjoyed breakfasts, shopping, sightseeing, a trip to Hoover Dam, and a relaxing spa day. The spa day was a huge hit and will most certainly be offered at future events. Guys and girls alike enjoyed this wonderful opportunity. Thank you so much to Debbie at Canyon Ranch Spa for making the spa day and breakfasts so stress free.

One thing that got everyone excited was the fabulous giveaways courtesy of our sponsors. The following is a list of all of our winners:

Sponsored by Brocade

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card – Denise Shaver
  • iPod Shuffle – Kelly Runyan-Heidler
  • Amazon Kindle – Mary Clearman

Sponsored by eGroup

  • iPod Nano – Josiah Peeples
  • iPod Touch – Trupti Palekar
  • iPad – Amy Saville

Sponsored by EMC

  • iPod Nano – Susan Arvoy
  • iPad – Kelly Petersen

With the success of the first EMC World Spousetivities, chances are very high that Spousetivities will return to EMC World in 2012! Hope to see you there!

Oh yes, and for those of you awaiting word on the new arrival to our family, our daughter gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Friday, May 13th. She weighed in at 9 lbs 2 oz. Check for pictures coming soon to the Spousetivities Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Spousetivities.


Extra Chances to Win Great Prizes at EMC World 2011

Still haven’t registered for Spousetivities at EMC World 2011? Well here is a great reason to register now! Everyone that registers for activities before April 25th will get an extra entry per activity in the drawing for these great prizes. After April 25th, registrants will get one entry per person, not per activity so don’t miss these extra chances at fantastic prizes.

As a reminder, our wonderful sponsors have enabled you to win prizes like iPods, iPads, gift certificates, and Kindles. Make sure you or the attendee stop by our sponsors—EMC, Brocade, and eGroup—and thank them for making all of the Spousetivities giveaways and events possible.

Remember, the drawings will be held at the breakfast events so make sure you register for those while you are checking out all the other exciting activities. There is still room for all activities so don’t delay because spaces are limited.

So what are you waiting for? Register now and get those extra chances at the great prizes!


Win Cool Stuff at EMC World 2011

As anyone who has participated in Spousetivities knows, we have the best sponsors. This year for EMC World–thanks to EMC, eGroup, and Brocade, our sponsors–everyone registering for the breakfasts and at least one activity has the opportunity to win some great prizes. In fact, Spousetivities will be giving away over $1500 in prizes! Who doesn’t like winning prizes?

Thanks to Brocade, attendees could win a $50 shopping certificate, an iPod shuffle, or an Amazon Kindle.

Likewise, thanks to EMC for the opportunity to win a 32GB Wi-Fi iPad. Of course, EMC is also the sponsor of our welcome and farewell breakfast events.

Finally, eGroup is giving attendees yet another shot at a 32GB Wi-Fi iPad or an iPod Touch.

This means attending Spousetivities not only gives you some great activities at reduced costs during the conference, but also the chance to meet some fantastic people and win prizes. Good fun, tasty food, great people, and awesome prizes–what more could you ask for?

Drawings for these items will be held at the breakfast events so don’t delay–go to the registration page and get signed up now!


Bringing the family to EMC World 2011?

Are you an EMC employee or customer and have plans to attend EMC World in Las Vegas this year? Or are you choosing not to attend because you don’t want to spend that time away from your family? Maybe you feel like you can’t bring the family because you don’t think Las Vegas is a “family friendly” destination. Well, think again! This year, thanks to EMC, eGroup, and Brocade, Spousetivities will be offered during the EMC World 2011.

How does that help with bringing the family? Great question! I have two reasons why you should re-consider attending EMC World 2011 and bringing your family with you:

1. Got kids? Perfect! Spousetivities is offering “kid friendly” options that are off the Strip and away from the more “grown up” attractions in Las Vegas. I have someone in place to be with the children during all child events, or you can attend activities with your child. How cool is that? Just contact me for further information (contact information is on the About page of this site).

2. No kids? Great! Come to EMC World 2011 and let your adult family and friends join other spouses, friends, parents, and/or significant others for fun activities on and near the Strip. With the purchase of a Las Vegas Power Pass, many of the activities will be available at no additional cost to you. Other activities are being offered at greatly reduced prices thanks to our sponsors. Some of these activities include:

  • Hoover Dam Tour and Ethel M. Chocolate Factory Tour for $20 per person (normally $59.99). This tour includes a private motor coach so it will be our group only. Kids of all ages are welcome on this tour.
  • Shopping excursion to the Factory Outlets
  • Shopping excursion on the Strip
  • Sightseeing
  • Spa options (normally $160 per treatment, now $90)

There really is something for everyone so don’t delay, get registered today!


Registration Open for EMC World Spousetivities 2011!

The wait is finally over! The registration page for Spousetivities at EMC World 2011 is live!

Personally, I’m really excited thinking about this year’s activities at EMC World 2011 in Las Vegas. It will be the first year that I’ll be organizing activities for EMC World, so it will be great to have a new set of people to meet. It’s been awesome to meet new people at the VMworld Spousetivities, and I’m really looking forward to meeting even more new people, forming new friendships, and having a great time.

Complete details on all the activities are available at the registration page, but here’s a quick look at what’s planned:

  • We’ll have our customary Welcome/”Get to Know You” breakfast, which will be an exclusive breakfast at the Canyon Ranch Spa at The Venetian. In addition, I’m also adding a Farewell breakfast on Thursday. In addition to great food and great company, you’ll also have the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes (generously provided by our sponsors: EMC, eGroup, and Brocade). Food, fun, and prizes? Awesome!
  • Shopping and sightseeing tours will be available for Monday and Tuesday. There are a couple of different options available.
  • Wednesday is “Spa Day,” with a variety of spa treatments available, all at reduced rates (again, thanks to the sponsors!). Conveniently, Wednesday is also the day of the conference party that night. That works out well, doesn’t it? In fact, you might even think that someone planned it that way…

Of course, one of the great things about Spousetivities is that it’s not just about participating in the planned activities. It’s about connecting people with each other. So many friendships have been formed out of these activities, and I anticipate that it will happen again in Las Vegas in just a few weeks. Feel free to join us, even if you don’t want to join in the planned activities. It’s entirely possible that you’ll make some new friends along the way!

As usual, Spousetivities participants will get a funny T-shirt this year (we think your IT spouses are going to love it!) and a cool gift bag. But you have to participate in the breakfasts in order to get this stuff, so be sure to head over to the registration page to get signed up. There is a small cost for the breakfast, but the majority of the cost for this exclusive event has been offset by our corporate sponsors.

For the first time ever, Spousetivities is offering youth activities. This is not a baby-sitting service. Rather, these are activities designed for the young people including a day of fun at Sky Zone (indoor trampoline park) and kids centered excursions off the strip and professionally supervised. Please contact me for full details.

Don’t miss out—head over to the registration page now to get signed up!