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!


Twitter Tips for Tweet Together Contest

As you prepare to participate in the exciting Tweet Together, Win Together contest brought to you by Intel, I thought you might appreciate a few helpful tips. My colleague, Kelly, has put together this useful list of information for you as you prepare and play. Of course, Kelly and I will be available during VMworld to answer any additional questions you might have. You can also post questions here or on Twitter. I am @Spousetivities and Kelly is @Kelly1956. See you in a few days!

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Tweet Together Win Together

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!


Let’s do it Again!

Last year was fabulous, so let’s do it again this year! Spousetivities is coming to EMC World again in 2012. If you are going to EMC World, you won’t want to leave your family and or friends behind. If your spouse, partner, or significant other is going to EMC World, you simply won’t want to stay behind! There will be activities for everyone.

The spa was a huge hit last year so once again, Spousetivities participants will be able to enjoy Canyon Ranch Spa at discounted rates. There will also be a visit to do some wine tasting. And did I mention that you’ll be escorted to the wine tasting via limousine? If massages, manicures, wine, and limousines don’t get your interest, what about a day of horseback riding in Red Rock Canyon? These are the confirmed activities thus far, but check back often, because I hope to offer the traditional “Get to Know You” breakfast and possibly other activities as well.

All this sound like fun? Want to know how to register? Excellent! Registration is available here. Don’t wait, sign up today as some activities have very limited space.

See you in Las Vegas in May!

 


Spousetivities at VMworld Update #1

VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas is fast approaching, and so are the Spousetivities! I again want to thank our fantastic sponsors–Dell Tech Center, eGroup, EMC, HP, HyTrust, Train Signal, vBackup, VMUG, and The Virtualization Practice–for making these activities possible.

Here’s a quick update on availability for activities; keep in mind that registration closes on August 26, 2011 (only 10 days away!):

  • Only a couple of manicure/pedicure appointments are available; all other services are sold out
  • A few spots remain for the Wednesday and Thursday cooking classes with Chef Bev Lee
  • Only 7 spots left for the Hoover Dam/Lake Mead cruise
  • 13 spots are available on Wednesday’s Lake Mead cruise
  • Plenty of tickets still available for the breakfast on Monday
  • vHottie T-shirts are still available for those not attending the events

For those of you interested in the Grand Canyon tour, I will be adding 20 more spots in the next day or so, but the price goes up to $129.99 per person. I will also add spa services, but the price will increase to $120 per service. My sponsors have been great in helping to keep costs down, but sponsorship funds only go so far!

If you’re thinking of signing up, I highly recommend you go ahead and sign up now, before registration closes and/or before sponsorship funds run out and prices go up! Just a reminder: I will not be accepting activity registrations on-site.


Spousetivities at VMworld 2011 is Open for Registration

I am pleased to announce that registration for Spousetivities is now open! If you have already registered, thank you! If you haven’t registered, I encourage you to register now.

One quick note: I have seen several people that have signed up only for the breakfast. This is completely fine; our Get to Know You breakfasts are always great fun. There is one thing I need to point out, though: if you plan to participate in other events as well, you cannot register for those at the breakfast. All registrations MUST be done in advance. Due to the size and popularity of Spousetivities, I have to sign contracts in advance and once they are full, I can’t add people at the last minute. So please register now so that you can maximize your time while keeping the budget under control.

The cooking classes are starting to fill up so if that interests you, don’t delay. All four nights will be different cuisine so feel free to register for more than one. The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead are all generating a ton of interest as well.

I have been working hard on obtaining additional sponsors to continue to make Spousetivities affordable and offer the famous vWife t-shirts, gift bags, and giveaways. We now have 6 great sponsors on board! Please make sure to thank eGroup, EMC,  HP, HyTrust, Train Signal, and VMUG. I am also in negotiations with three other companies that are interested in supporting our events. I am so grateful to our sponsors and appreciate all they have done to make Spousetivities what it is today.

So what are you waiting for? Spousetivities always promises great activities with great people so go ahead and get that registration done so you can sit back and count down the days until we all head to Vegas to see old friends and make some new ones while enjoying cooking classes, river cruises, and scenic tours!


VMworld 2011 Planning Update

Hi folks! I know it’s been a while so I wanted to give everyone an update on how things are coming along for Spousetivities at VMworld in Las Vegas. I’ve added a new sponsor and negotiated a few contracts so keep reading for the latest details.

First, a quick update on sponsors. Of course we all know Spousetivities wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of our sponsors. I am pleased to announce that the VMUG (VMware User Group) is our latest sponsor. The VMUG team is anxious to jump in and lend a hand with making Spousetivities even better. I am very excited to have them on board! In addition to VMUG as a sponsor, we can also thank EMC, HyTrust, Train Signal, and eGroup for making Spousetivities happen at VMworld 2011. Stay tuned as I am also working with several other companies that are interested in supporting this fantastic program!

Now, on to the activities–the part everyone is waiting for! What will there be to do at Spousetivities during VMworld? Well, how does a professional cooking class sound? If the idea of a class sounds good, then the option to choose between 4 classes and be transported via limo should sound even better! That’s right, cooking classes will be offered every afternoon from 4:00 – 8:00 with a variety of cooking options from Vegetarian to American Classics to Weekend Gourmet. Space will be very limited so sign up fast. For those of you that haven’t been to Las Vegas before, there will be walking tours offered to see all of the “must sees” along the Strip. Of course, the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Lake Mead are all nearby so we can’t forget those activities. Already been to the Hoover Dam? No worries, how does a trip along Lake Mead on an authentic paddlewheel boat sound? Never been to the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam? Guess what–you’ll have the opportunity for both during Spousetivities at VMworld. So all of this is great but what about some R&R? Don’t worry, I’ve got that covered! You will have the opportunity Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to spend a few hours or the whole day at the Canyon Ranch Spa. There is something for everyone!

Can you handle one more bit of information? I’ve also arranged a couples’ overnight trip for Friday and Saturday. This trip will include pick up in Las Vegas followed by transportation via luxury motor coach to Williams, AZ. In Williams, you’ll get overnight accommodations and 2 meals. On Saturday, you will enjoy breakfast & entertainment, and then a train ride in superb accommodations to the Grand Canyon South Rim. After enjoying the unbelievable sights at the Canyon, you will board another luxury motor coach for your return to Las Vegas.

I am always open to suggestions (if nothing here appeals to you). With this vast array of opportunities, I hope everyone will find something that peaks their interest. Registration opens on Wednesday at 8:00 AM Eastern Time, so stay tuned and register early as spaces will fill quickly. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!


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.


Registration Issues and Questions at EMC World

Thank you to everyone who has registered with Spousetivities. It is my pleasure to have you join in these events. I have worked very hard to make registration very simple and a smooth process. However, it has come to my attention that some people may still have questions or concerns about registration. Here are a few steps that will help make these events run smoothly.

  • Once you register online, please wait to receive a confirmation from Eventbrite. Once you receive this confirmation, review it and make sure there are no errors.
  • If you have received your confirmation but still have questions, please contact me directly as the EMC World event staff is not equipped to help with Spousetivities registrations.
  • The fastest way to reach me is via e-mail. Or, you may reach me via Twitter (@Spousetivities).

Again, thank you for participating in these events and I look forward to meeting each of you this week.


Time to Relax at EMC World

Are you bringing your spouse, friend, parents, or significant other with you to EMC World 2011? If so, treat them to a relaxing day at the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian. Right now, if you book through the Spousetivities registration page, your guest can get one of several spa treatments at a 40% discount (courtesy of EMC Corporation). Spa options need to be booked by May 4th and are offered at this rate on Wednesday, May 11th only.

In addition to wonderful spa treatments, guests receiving the services get all day access to the spa facilities at no additional charge. For $90, you get a 55 minute service, all day access to the spa, and all day access to Aquavana™, the spa’s water oasis! For more details on what the spa has to offer, check out their page.

Remember, to receive this discount, you must register here. While you are signing up for these spectacular spa services, go ahead and check out the other great events happening too!