Disclosure: virtualization.info runs its own independent conference about virtualization technologies called Virtualization Congress.
The first edition was arranged in US in May 2009 and was co-hosted with the Citrix Synergy 2009 conference. Even if the Citrix event sponsorship didn’t influence by any mean the agenda of the Virtualization Congress, the sessions’ contents or the speakers line-up, it is still true that Citrix is a competitor of VMware and that the Virtualization Congress may be mistakenly perceived as a very humble attempt to compete with VMworld.
At the end of May Brian Madden highlighted how the imminent edition of VMware’s main conference, VMworld 2009, has some unprecedented, severe restrictions for exhibitors (as many of them are direct competitors).
Specifically, the VMworld exhibitors are not allowed to market or demonstrate products that overlap with or replace VMware offering.
Additionally, all non-VMware partners (read “competitors”) can’t have a booth larger than 10x10ft (virtualization.info received a confirmation about this from one of the event sponsors).
Last but not least, the exhibitor employees must remain in the boundaries of their booths.
Now Citrix is unveiling an additional limitation:
Exhibitor agrees that it may not use any Organizer event to leverage or promote any other event in which Exhibitor is a sponsor or participant, and therefore agrees that it may not, during the period from two days before until two days after the Event, conduct, promote, endorse, or sponsor any functions, classes, seminars, exhibits, or similar marketing activities within 50 miles of any event similar to the Event that is the subject of this agreement, other than Exhibitor’s participation in the Event under this Agreement.
The agreement is so restrictive that it may easily include also all the parallel night parties that vendors arrange at the hotels surrounding the conference center before, during and after the official VMware marketing activities.
Microsoft found a creative solution to circumvent the new cage: advertise the presence of its best resources in sessions and restaurants around the conference center way before the VMworld takes place 🙂
It’s so ironic that the VMworld tagline this year is Hello Freedom.