Community VMworld 2020: Time to Volunteer!


  • Stuff is getting prepped for VMworld!
  • Names are changing!
  • We need volunteers! Here’s the form!
  • VMware is All-In!

It’s been a couple weeks since we announced our idea for a parallel VMworld event that was completely run by, and for, the community. The feedback we’ve gotten has been amazing, and every day it feels more and more like we are going to pull off something fun!

I wanted to give everyone a quick update on where we are, since there have been some significant updates in the last few week to get everyone caught up on. Ready?

Mission Statement:

First, we’ve gotten some questions about what, exactly, the goal is of this process, both as it relates to VMworld 2020, but then going forward from there. Here it is in a nutshell:

Community is hard. Community has been something that vendors of all shapes and sizes have managed with varying degrees of success at conferences, and we think that, especially with the pandemic, we can build the infrastructure that makes community easier to organize and coordinate.

Orbital Jigsaw is the virtual conference center: it’s a place people gather, a place where discussions happen, a place where people put context to the content. It has rooms for content, rooms for discussion, rooms for play, whatever the community needs. Video, audio, text, links to collateral, places to talk shop with partners, all in one place, and all consistent from conference to conference.

Orbital Jigsaw?

The next note to share is that we’ve decided on the new name of the community platform we are building, and are excited to welcome you all to Orbital Jigsaw!

The original core of the community was very tech focused, but over the last few months we’ve seen just as much growth in the non-tech topics, especially around content creation and sharing. When we look at the big picture, all of the things that folks are doing during the pandemic, whether it’s gaming, building PCs, audio/video setups, podcasts or anything else, we’ve probably seen someone sharing it! Discord has become a great platform to use with all of the different kinds of subgroups, and we hope you’ll stop by and look around.

There are a lot of possibilities for the future, I can’t wait to see where it goes. If you have a podcast, video series or anything else that you want to get more exposure for, reach out and and let’s see if maybe Orbital Jigsaw can’t help.

VMware is All-In!

We’ve had a number of really productive calls with the VMware community and events teams, and they are really excited to see what we can do together for VMworld. In the coming days and weeks, you’ll definitely see more communication from the VMware side about what’s going on and how to get involved. The vExpert and VMUG ecosystems specifically will be invited to play a huge role in things, if they are interested. Stay tuned for more.

Call For Volunteers!

Finally, the meat of the post: we can’t do this without you! We’ve been overwhelmed by the offers to help, and here’s the basics of the community roles we need right now:

Track Leads: We need people to “own” each of the 7 tracks that are being run, in the time zones they are running, to manage the schedule and to work with the folks who are interested in those tracks to find out which live/VOD sessions to broadcast.
Broadcasters: We need people who have good bandwidth and wired systems to take the scheduled content videos, live or VOD, and push them into Discord. No special setup needed, other than stable/wired internet.
Discussion Moderators: For each broadcast channel, there will be a persistent text channel as well, and we need people who are versed in the technology/products for each track to facilitate the discussion. You don’t have to be an expert in everything, but being able to answer questions, point people to resources, or have an endless supply of bad tech jokes to keep the mood light during recorded technical sessions is a bonus!
Session Presenters: Did you prep a presentation for VMworld that didn’t get accepted? We will be teaming up with vBrownbag to bring as many of these “second-chance” sessions to the community as we can. It’s the world’s worst kept secret that the chances of getting a session accepted as an independent community member is slim to none, so for those of you who have content to share, come present it!
Panel Members: There may be opportunities to participate in panels discussing keynotes or product announcements. To participate here you’ll need to be comfortable enough with the tech to have on-the-fly discussions with other community members, but if you are up to the challenge, let us know.

Does any of that sound fun? Here’s the form you can use to let us know.

All of us are so excited for this, and we hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are! If you have questions or suggestions, please jump over into Discord and let us know! 40 days to go!