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

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!

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.

What Are People Saying About Spousetivities

As you probably know, I started Spousetivities at VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas. With a few mentions on Scott Lowe’s blog, I managed to get the attention of 25 significant others that were also coming along on the trip to VMworld. Very informally, I arranged activities. We joined public tours (and suffered the dilemma of doing so), walked end to end on the Strip, and drove private/rental vehicles to the Grand Canyon (missing the VMworld Party because of it!). So why does any of this matter?

The point of this recap was to show where Spousetivities started and where it’s going. My life has really not been the same since VMworld 2008. I am learning and adjusting all the time. Spousetivities is quickly becoming a featured part of many technology conferences and is gaining the attention of the IT community. Some very prominent bloggers posted blogs about it, including Scott Lowe (who, of course, is my husband), Simon Seagrave (@kiwi_Si on Twitter), and Jonathan Franconi (see his blog post about Spousetivities). Even VMware has recognized the value in Spousetivities and is listing them on their VMworld Social Events page.

I have also been interviewed by some great people in the community. Many of you know and use products from Train Signal and I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kasia during VMworld 2010. More recently, I had the pleasure of being a part of Coffee with Thomas and got to talk about Spousetivities and other things.

And while talking with others about Spousetivities is great, it’s even greater to hear about how Spousetivities has impacted the lives of conference attendees and their spouses/significant others. Take this recent tweet from @cwliner, for example:

“@scott_lowe I think my wife is more excited about #VMworld than I am! #spousetivities”

Or perhaps this recent tweet by Tom Howarth, aka @tom_howarth on Twitter:

“@scott_lowe #Spousetivities is going 2B a lifesaver 4 those of us who have traveled with our family. Well done @crystal_lowe 4 organising”

These are the sorts of comments that let me know what I’m doing with Spousetivities is making a difference for others. Bringing your spouse/significant other/parent/partner with you to VMworld this year? Why not sign them up and see if it can make a difference for you, too?

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!

Registration Now Open For Copenhagen Spousetivites

I am very excited to let everyone know that registration is now open for Copenhagen Spousetivities. If you are traveling with a VMworld attendee and are interested in joining other spouses, friends, and family of attendees, you need to check out these fun events!

Other activities will be added later this week and throughout the weekend. The first events are all free because of the support of our sponsors, EMC, Train Signal, and HyTrust. Make sure you register for the vWife t-shirt! These are always a huge hit for both the Spousetivities participant and the VMworld attendee. Don’t worry if you aren’t a wife, I have t-shirts for you, too! On Tuesday, October 12th, we will be having a “Get-to-know-you” breakfast at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. Right after breakfast, we will enjoy spending some time watching the movie “Vores kosmiske rejse”. Don’t worry about understanding the film as I have already arranged for the translation headphones for everyone! There will be lots to see and do on Tuesday!

Events for Wednesday and Thursday are in the final planning stages. Please stay tuned for these to be posted. Don’t forget that all participants also get a welcome bag with other free goodies inside! I look forward to seeing everyone in Copenhagen in a few short weeks! Don’t forget to register now!

Spouse Activities Update

VMworld 2010 in San Francisco, CA, is right around the corner! I’m excited about the activities planned for VMworld this year and I wanted to give you a quick update on activities planning and deadlines. Make a note of these deadlines—you don’t want to miss out!

  • Today, August 5, is the last day to register for the “Islands of San Francisco Bay” tour. Many of you might have looked at this entry on the Spousetivities registration site and not realized that this is a tour of Alcatraz and Angel Island. Sorry for not being clearer! Here’s why you should consider registering for this activity. First, this activity includes private transportation between the San Francisco Marriott (very near Moscone, where the conference is being held) and Pier 33. Second, this activity also includes a boxed lunch to enjoy on Angel Island. Third, you’ll also get an expert guide from Organized Chaos (my partner in helping arrange some of these tours). Finally, a $50 discount is available for the first 20 people to e-mail me (see the About page for my e-mail address) and request the discount code. Having done the Alcatraz/Angel Island combination tour myself in previous years, I’d much prefer this private tour. Yes, it is a bit more expensive than the standard public tours, but the public tours don’t include private transportation to and from the conference hotel area, lunch, or an expert guide. So, if you’re interested, e-mail me for the discount code and then go register!
  • If you are interested in the Monterey/Carmel/Hearst Castle event, I’ve managed to get the deadline to register for this event extended to tomorrow, Friday, August 6. (Last time I checked the registration site still listed July 30.) This is a fantastic opportunity for couples to get away before the conference starts and enjoy some great scenery and sites! This awesome two-day event includes private transportation, catered reception-style dinner the night of the first day, overnight accommodations in San Simeon, breakfast and lunch on day two, private tour of Hearst Castle, and professional staff from Organized Chaos to coordinate the entire event. Definitely something to consider for couples interested in some private time before the madness of the conference!
  • Don’t forget that free lunch on the Muir Woods/Sausalito or the House Boat tours is available for people who respond to my earlier post so don’t delay!
  • As I’ve mentioned before, all the activities listed on the Spousetivities registration site include private transportation, and many of them include a private lunch as well. These are goodies that aren’t included in the typical public tours.

Don’t forget that all registrants for spouse activities will get a free T-shirt (last year’s shirts were a HUGE hit!), free welcome breakfast, and a nice gift bag with some goodies inside. All these freebies are courtesy of our sponsors this year: EMC, Train Signal, and HyTrust.

Act now if you’re interested in some of these activities! If you have questions, contact me on Twitter (my Twitter ID is @spousetivities) or drop me an e-mail. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

Spouse Activity Early Bird Registration Now Open

After a lot of hard work and planning and with the help of Cynthia, I am ready to take the registration site live! Thanks to our corporate sponsors–EMC, Train Signal, and HyTrust–I am pleased to offer Early Bird Discounts for early registrations. Your discount depends on the number of tours for which you register. This means the more you choose, the more you save. Some tours are offered more than once so that you can create an itinerary that fits into your schedule. Be sure to check out the private lunches; many are memorable experiences in their own right and are a perfect compliment to the fabulous tours.

As with last year, we will be having a Get To Know You breakfast; this is listed on the event registration page. Please note that the breakfast is listed with a zero dollar amount. That is not an error! Thanks to the generous support of EMC, we are offering the Get To Know You breakfast for free this year. It will be held at Jillian’s near the Moscone Center and the Marriott Marquis. We can only hold 150 people, so it is important to register early. If you order a T-shirt this year–they were a huge hit last year–they will be given out at the breakfast.

I will be posting information on other “self organized” activities in the next few weeks. These “self organized” activities will include trips to Golden Gate Park, shopping excursions, and other low or no-cost events. It is important to note, however, that the events that are currently arranged have all the details already covered. For example, all the transportation for these arranged events is already covered. As I mentioned earlier, these arranged events also have the option to include a private lunch. The “self organized” excursions will attendees to use public transportation, walk, or get a rental vehicle. As I mentioned, more details will be posted about these activities soon.

Hopefully you are as excited as I am and you are ready to sign up. If so, click here to register.