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


VMworld 2015, Here we Come!

It’s happening again! Currently in the final planning stages is Spousetivities at VMworld 2015. This year holds more fantastic opportunities for outings, but don’t worry, we will still have amazing wine tour adventures and city excursions as well. I am finalizing sponsors and confirming contracts, but registration should open VERY soon so keep checking back here to this page or follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Want a sneak peek at activities this year? (Of course you do!)

  • “Get-to-Know-You” breakfast, otherwise known as “Come and Win Prizes” breakfast
  • Two exclusive wine country excursions not available to the general public
  • Fun afternoon cooking class

…and more! See you on August 31st!


Don’t Attend VMworld Alone

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 ever-popular “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

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

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!


Spousetivities at VMworld Barcelona

Now that VMworld US 2012 is in the books, it is time to start planning your trip to VMworld EMEA 2012, in beautiful Barcelona, Spain! You know you don’t want to be in the doghouse for heading to Spain without your partner, so check out what Spousetivities has planned for the ones you care about while you are busy soaking up knowledge at the conference.

Like the US event, Spousetivities will have some goodies to give away for participants. In the past, that’s included things like iPads, iPods, Kindles, and other nifty electronic gadgets. If that isn’t enough to get you or your sweetie excited, how about one of the following tours:

  • Barcelona City Tour – Participants of Spousetivities will enjoy a full day of touring the city by private motor coach. This tour boasts panoramic views of Montjuïc Hill, a drive through the posh Eixample community, and a visit to Santa Maria del Mar. This is only a glimpse of the sights this tour will expose our group to on this amazing tour. There will be a stop for lunch during this beautiful tour as well. Lunch, of course, is included in the price.
  • Dali Tour – This is a long tour but well worth the time. After we depart from Marriott, we will enjoy a full day of sightseeing and amazing history. We will see the coastal village of Cadaqués then on to Dali’s chosen place of peace and quiet, Port Lligat. This tour will also take us to Cap de Creus on the eatern point of the mainland Spain. The tour includes tickets to 2 museums we will visit as well as a private guide and private motor coach. Once again, lunch is included so pack your camera and let’s go.
  • Montserrat and Cava Trail – One cannot visit Spain without getting some insight into their distinctive wine making. We will tour Codorniu and their magnificent underground cellars. We will also visit a must see destination of Montserrat Shrine as well as enjoy a fantastic lunch and a stroll at Cava Trail. This is a full day!

These tours are an amazing opportunity that you won’t want to miss. However, there is not a lot of room and the spaces will fill quickly. 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!

NewImage


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!


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!