A couple weeks ago we had our annual Portland VMUG User Conference. First of all, big Kudos to the local VMUG leaders, and a big thank to the VMUG National Headquarters, and the vendors who sponsored us. A reoccurring theme with all of these events I participate in is the number of vendors and VMware employees presenting. I say this not to be critical but to encourage a different mindset. I am hesitant to say this, because I love getting up in front of the VMware users and talking about what we are doing, and getting their feedback and questions. That is one of my favorite parts about being here is talking to our customers.
Something which has made the rounds with the usual suspects is the concept of mentoring customers to speak at the VMUGs. Mike Laverick wrote this article last year, and I think we need to keep pushing this concept forward. The VMUG has a program called Feed Forward, to make this a reality. Now I am not the foremost expert on presenting, but the VMUG is something I consider personally important to me, especially in Portland. I have been a member for 4 years now, and I have been presenting for 2-3 of those years as a partner and VMware employee. I have met more cool people, and had more amazing conversations through the process.
The VMUG is not about me, it is not about vendors, it is absolutely all about the customer. It does very little good to have our partners and employees present every session. Of course there are some customers who do present, but as a VMUG member, and someone who cares deeply for what we do, I would encourage you to get out there and speak up and get involved. There are literally hundreds of us who are willing to help you and encourage you. Most of us are not perfect presenters, but we just want you to be successful. I encourage you to start small, but let us help you start being more involved and grow your personal brand at your local VMUG.