Announcing the Gestalt IT “Get Away to VMworld” Contest!

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!

Update: We’ve Enhanced and Extended the contest!

The Contest: Get Away to VMworld

Here’s the deal: Thanks to our generous sponsors (Xsigo,  Symantec, Zetta,  and  Veeam), we’ll pay airfare, hotel, and registration for two lucky and deserving winners 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 entries!

Thank You, Symantec, Xsigo, Zetta, and Veeam!

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!

Update: Zetta and  Veeam have thrown in their support, allowing us to select two winners! They deserve special thanks, too!

One More Thing

DonorsChoose.org - Give the gift of learning - Go

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,  Xsigo,  Zetta,  and  Veeam booths  at the show and thanking them for their support
  4. Consider publicizing the contest by sharing this article with friends and associates
  5. Consider subscribing to Gestalt IT with RSS, by email, on Twitter, or in iTunes
  6. Consider supporting DonorsChoose.org and donating your swag to school kids in need

We look forward to hearing from you!

Update: With two more sponsors, Zetta and  Veeam, we have postponed the entry deadline to Thursday, August 12 and the selection of the winner to Friday, August 13! Follow @GestaltIT on Twitter to watch the selection live 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!

Get Away to VMworld 2010 Series