The process of selecting sessions for VMWorld 2010 is rolling along, and registrations is now open for both the US and European conferences. With virtualization and cloud computing being the hot technologies on every business’ radar for 2010, it is no surprise that this year brought in a record number of submissions for the VMWorld 2010 Call for Papers.
For anyone familiar with the content selection process for previous VMWorld conferences, there are three changes to be aware of this year. First, there will be no registering for sessions. The process of registering for sessions has always ended in popular sessions being overbooked, with people waiting in lines with the hopes of snagging some space to stand in the back of the room or simply being turned away.
This brings us to the second change, fewer unique sessions. With a record number of submissions and no registration for sessions, why lower the number of unique sessions? Good question. The goal is to have higher quality sessions, and more repeats to insure everyone gets a chance to attend them. Hopefully, this will lead to fewer lines and more opportunities to catch the sessions that matter the most. If you are like me, you have been in the situation where some time slots on the session agenda had nothing of interest for you, while other time slots had multiple items and you could only pick one. With the new approach, I hope that I will not be faced with those difficult choices this year.
The final change is one I think everyone will like. In each track, a percentage of sessions have been allocated for selection through online voting. Track Owners will be soliciting feedback from the Content Committee and selecting their portion of sessions, then the remaining submissions will be opened up to the public for online review and voting. I think this is a great idea, giving people a chance to provide input on what they want to attend at VMWorld.
Here is a quick breakdown on the process for selecting this year’s content.
April 9 – Call for Papers Ends
Originally set for April 2, the Call for Papers was extended to April 9. This process is for the non-paid sessions at VMWorld. Vendors and partners can purchase sponsorship packages that come with paid sessions for promoting their services, but this process is for the non-paid sessions, so all content is supposed to be focused on business and technical value instead of selling products or services. To allow the Track Owners more control over their tracks, filtering of marketing content and incomplete submissions are only lightly applied at this point.
April 19-30 – Content Committee Voting
The Content Committee is selected from a cross-section of customers, partners and VMware employees. This committee will review, rank and leave comments for a particular track(s) of content. Each submission is ranked on a scale of 1-5. If necessary, they can also work with the Track Owner to request additional information from a submission owner to better understand their content and the message they hope to convey.
May 3-7 – Initial Session Selections
At this stage, the Track Owners will use the feedback from the Content Committee to aid in selecting a predefined portion of their total conference sessions. After Track Owners make their initial selections, another round of filtering will take place. Submissions that are too heavily geared towards marketing, that are incomplete or that fail to line up with the conference tracks are eliminated. This leaves a selection of good content for the public voting.
May 14-26 – Public Voting on vmworld.com
Remaining sessions will be made available for public voting on the vmworld.com website. If you do not already have an account here, you can set one up for free. You will be able to review session content and vote on what you think would be the most valuable material for VMWorld.
May 31-June 4 – Final Session Selections
The public votes will be tabulated and used to fill the remaining track sessions for VMWorld 2010.
Week of June 7 – Notifications Sent to Submitters
Good or bad, this is when submitters will learn their fate. You cannot cheat and assume that if you content was not available during the public voting that it was selected in Initial Session Selections (I already checked on that), because of the two filtering steps that take place prior to the public voting. The week of June 7 will truly be your first chance to find out the fate of your submission.
Let The Games Begin
I personally reviewed 275 submissions in the “Private Cloud – Management” track. I found very few that were not good, and many that were great. I do not envy the Track Owners that have to narrow this list down, but I do look forward to a second chance to vote during the public voting. I am excited about the changes, and I cannot wait to see the final session list. I think these changes will make for a better experience, I just hope my submissions can make it through this more difficult selection process.
NOTE: I updated this post to reflect that final notices will be sent to submitters the week of June 7, not on June 2 as originally stated. Public voting also moved to start on May 14.