This is in response to the Gestalt IT "Get Away to VMworld" Contest Entry. I have quoted and indented the contest post below, with my response below it.
“Storage virtualization has become a central component of the modern data center, and the annual VMworld gathering in San Francisco has become the central event for virtualization-related companies. Although focused on VMware, the conference draws many companies. And the labs and sessions are really awesome! But not everyone can attend this must-go event. It’s fairly expensive ($1745 to register!) and reasonable airfare to SFO is offset by crazy hotel prices.
We at Gestalt IT want to help deserving folks get to this conference. We already paid for airfare for the winner of the Boche.net pass giveaway, but we can do more. So we contacted some of our favorite technology companies about sponsoring a contest to send another deserving person to the show!
The Contest: Get Away to VMworld
Here’s the deal: Thanks to our generous sponsors (Xsigo and Symantec), we’ll pay airfare, hotel, and registration for one lucky and deserving person out there to attend VMworld San Francisco 2010! That’s right – you get to go to VMworld for free!
Our travel agent will arrange airfare and hotel and we’ll get you set up with a full conference pass, giving you access to everything the show has to offer. Sound good?
The Catch: Pay It Forward
There’s always a catch, right? Inspired by winner Greg Stuart‘s desire to contribute to the community, we’re not just going to pick a winner at random. We’re going to pick the person who presents the best case for themselves.
Entrants must explain how they plan to “pay it forward” if they get to go to VMworld. Will you start a blog? Write some tutorials? Contribute to a forum or online community? Present to your local VMUG? Get creative and spread the wealth of knowledge you get from the event!
Our panel of judges is made up of none other than the most-excellent roster of past Tech Field Day delegates! They’ve proven themselves to be independent-minded and knowledgeable, and we’re sure that they will pick the best entry!
Thank You, Symantec and Xsigo!
We want to take a moment to recognize Symantec and Xsigo and thank them for sponsoring this contest. It would not be possible without their support. We encourage you to stop by at the show, check out what they have at their booths, and thank them for their help making this happen. Both have some cool stuff up their sleeves, and are well-worth checking out!
One More Thing
If you look around at technology-oriented shows, one thing is very clear: The field of techies isn’t all that diverse. We need to work harder to attract a wider group of young people to study science, technology, engineering, and math. That’s why we’ve also made a donation through Donors Choose to a cool classroom project in Arizona that teaches engineering to girls through robotics. We encourage you to support this and other “STEM” projects in your local schools!
We’ve also suggested that you Donate Your Swag to School Kids In Need, as suggested by Kevin Houston. When you get home from VMworld, consider filling up the bags you get with school supplies and bringing them to your local school building. I’m sure they can find someone who needs the help!
How To Enter
Ok, so how can you enter this contest? Here are the simple steps:
1. Consider how attending VMworld would help you and the broader community
2. Fill out the contest entry form
3. Plan on stopping by the Symantec and Xsigo booths at the show and thanking them for their support
4. Consider publicizing the contest by sharing this article with friends and associates
We look forward to hearing from you!
Update: You have through Tuesday, August 10 to enter. The winner will be announced on the VMware Community Roundtable Podcast, Wednesday August 11 at noon Pacific time!
The Fine Print
There’s always some fine print, right? Here’s ours:
Contests like this aren’t allowed everywhere. This one is void in locations where it would be illegal or overly restricted.
We’re paying for one roundtrip air ticket from one of the major airports near you to SFO or another airport in the San Francisco area. We’re also paying for three nights at a hotel within 1 mile of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The event runs August 30 through September 2, so we expect that’s when you’ll be there. Finally, we’ll pay for one conference pass. You can bring along a guest if you like, but you’ll have to pay their own way.
Sorry, but we can’t afford first class flights and the Ritz. Our travel agent will do their best to accommodate your travel needs, but we’re on a budget here. We stayed at the Mosser last year, and it may be small but it’s really convenient!
International winners must stay over Saturday night to make the airfare work. They might need to pay for a fourth hotel night themselves. And we might need to disqualify entries if the travel costs would break our budget. Sorry again!”
Below is my entry;
My name is Roger Lund. As you may or may not know, I blog on the following site, http://itblog.rogerlund.net
I have also formed an unofficial VMware user group here in St. Cloud Minnesota. We have been doing this since before vSphere came out. I found a couple of guy’s to help forum the group. And it is working well , http://centralmnit.ning.com/ We are working on having our next group meeting after VMworld, ( was thinking Sep 2 if i can’t make it )
As you know from my blog http://itblog.rogerlund.net I blog a good deal, as time permits, and even though I was unable to make VMworld 2009, San Francisco last time I blogged the following
If I was able to attend, I would spend a great deal of time doing video and pod cast’s, getting some great photos of the event etc, and blogging the whole event.
What else would I learn or befit from for going?
Social networking: Building contacts, for my blogging, and for user group events.
Gathering Material’s for the user group: getting books, shirts and things to give away for the user groups.
Education: at some point I want to get my VCP, I need to do this myself, through self-provided education, since I have no work founds, or personal founds to do so.
Plus it would be fun to meet some of the great minds in the field.
Why don’t I go and pay my own way?
I have zero founding, zero as in none from work, I do not consult, and do not have the personal founds to do this.
A bit about me and why I want to be active in the community and blog sphere.
I feel that communication is the one of the largest things the IT world struggles with, and that by doing everything I can to educate others, and myself, I am helping IT overall. By blogging, I am both educating myself, and documenting facts for others to find. By putting together local groups, I am helping the community, helping others discuss what works and what does not work, and strengthening the community at the same time. Being located in St. Cloud MN, a town of over 60k people, it is still over an hour one way drive for the only Official VMware user group in the state. and the twin cities is really the only place offering training for VMware. Since we are located in St. Cloud MN, are in the center of the state, we are ideally located for user groups.
I do have not and do not plan on every charging for these user groups or my blog; I feel it is a service I can offer the community.
Heck, if I had the founding and or time (two little kids at home) I would write a book and make it free online, and I have been asked when I will have a book out before. 🙂
Please, consider me, as if for no other reason, than to help me help the community, both by the benefiting the user group, and my blogging.
EDIT : please RT this for me via twitter.
RT : @rogerlund the Gestalt IT Get Away to VMworld Contest Entry @GestaltIT http://bit.ly/bXqkxZ