A tech conference can be a pretty intense place, jam-packed with informative sessions to the point that your head is spinning. The expo can be equally daunting, with dozens of partners plus the sponsoring vendor vying for an attendee’s attention. At VMworld, we captured some of the more creative ways used to lure people in.

Fun and games

VMware went all-out, offering not only a huge area full of demos of its products and services but a gaming lounge where customers could blow off a little steam in the middle of the show floor.


Mini golf


What does mini golf have to do with an SD-WAN? Not a darned thing, but the game enticed many into Silver Peak‘s booth, where they heard about the product as well as enjoying a little fun.

Cohesity’s golf game was a little more challenging, and benefitted the Special Olympics.

Come out swinging

Security firm Trend Micro carried the sporting theme even farther with its golf swing analyzer. For the price of a badge scan (and thus agreement to be contacted by the vendor), a PGA teaching pro offered critiques, and maybe even helped figure out how to eliminate that slice that’s wrought havoc on your handicap. Attendees could also register to win a custom driver.

Heavy hitter

Security vendor ESET let people work off a little aggression with its punching bag game.

Git some refreshment

After all that exercise, a little refreshment might be in order. GitLab‘s barista served up excellent coffee while people learned about the company’s DevOps platform.

Rooting out problems

If coffee didn’t hit the spot, a little root beer from monitoring tool vendor Blue Medora could cure the root cause of your thirst.


Vendor giveaways are designed to help you remember who you spoke to (and to give you something to take home to co-workers or kids).

Enterprise backup as a service vendor Clumio opted for an Angry Bird, while networking vendor Equinix gave away light boxes, digital monitoring firm Lakeside Software offered whimsical buttons, and digital identity manager Sailpoint provided branded shoelaces. So many people coveted the shoes those laces were displayed on that booth staff began threatening to raffle them off at the end of the show.


After the madness that is a trade show, sometimes a little therapy is in order, and data management company Commvault had the perfect solution: puppies to cuddle. Its data therapy dog park was always jammed with people looking for a little respite from the fray. All of the pups were available for adoption, too, so if puppy love got the better of you, you had the chance to take some home.




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Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree.