August used to be the last lazy days of Summer. Like children getting ready for school, we'd ramp up planning, campaigns and events for the crucial Fall season. VMware changed all that.
To avoid competition for time between September and The Holidays, VMware placed their annual conference the week before Labor Day. They threw a good party in in San Francisco, so we didn't mind at first. We'd work hard for VMworld, then take the long weekend of Labor Day in the vineyards of Napa or down the coast to Carmel. It became Summer's last hurrah.
That didn't last long. Since virtualization became the number one driver of IT refreshes, VMworld became the epicenter of the Enterprise IT sales and announcements. Companies planned their announcements - or even their funding rounds - around VMworld. For marketing and product teams we'd focus for 6 months on it and scramble to get the demos right in August.
The inevitable happened. Just as VMworld moved earlier in the year to find some white space for their conference, the industry has done the same. To get press before VMworld, many turned to Flash Memory Summit. Previously a niche vendor-to-vendor event, many used the event to rally the press and bloggers to their cause. This year was their biggest - and I predict more next year.
Then, EMC turned the tables. Realizing that Labor Day only counted in the US, they staged their major product launch the following week in Milan. I can think of worse places to end up in early September.
If they make it an annual event, maybe I can go. I can plan the long weekend in the north of Italy. It won't be the last hurrah of Summer, but the recharge after all the hard work of July and August.
Yes, VMware has ruined Summer.