PortAventura, Spain March 20-23 2018


Culture. Excellence. Growth.

Announcement from Werner

Welcome to the EMEA Sales Kickoff 2018

The EMEA Sales Kickoff (SKO) FY19 will be held from 20-23 March 2018 at the PortAventura Conference Center in Vila-seca /Tarragona which is close to Barcelona. The event is for everybody in Sales, Pre Sales and Marketing. Separate invitations will be sent to selected persons from Services, Finance, Operations, People etc.

SKO is a big investment and represents an amazing opportunity for us to:

  • learn about Red Hat's strategy and vision direct from our executives such as Jim, Paul and Arun
  • get educated on our latest product and customer innovations
  • network with your peers, have some fun and celebrate our success

This time there will be one pre-event meeting starting on Monday. All expected to attend this Sales Alignment Meeting should have received my email invitation on Monday 11th of December, 11:25 CET.

Bookmark this page. It will be regularly updated with the latest info and it will not be possible to find it via search engines.

Questions? For any questions please contact Esther Dalderup (esther@redhat.com)


The theme for the SKO opening night will be RED HAT’S GOT TALENT! 
For our SKO party on Thursday night we would like you to come dressed in white. 

Date & location

Date: March 20-23, 2018
(or March 19 if you are invited for the pre-event meeting)

Location: Vila-seca, Tarragona (close to Barcelona), Spain

Venue & hotel: PortAventura Convention Center and Hotels
Learn more about the hotel & venue at the bottom of this page.

Destination airport: Barcelona (BCN)
Please read the travel information below. If you are based in Spain and will use other transportation options please read the relevant travel information below.

Registration information

Registration is now open

Before you register make sure to:

  • Read the travel information below
  • Book your flights, and have the details at hand
  • Have your passport details at hand
  • Check out this size chart to select your size when registering - the item is cut relatively small! (Requested size can only be guaranteed for all who register before January 12.)

Make sure to be very precise when you register! Please do NOT put in fake flight details in case of extended stay. We need to know your REAL flight details. If your flight details need to be changed or if there is another important part of your registration details to be amended please contact Esther (esther@redhat.com) to inform her.

Confirmation of your registration

In case you want to receive a copy of your registration details please click the button 'send me a copy of my responses' at the end of the registration form. (The button will move to the right and be red.) If you do not receive an email, even though you hit that button, then your registration was not successful. Make sure to check your spambox!

Preliminary schedule for EMEA SKO 2018


Tuesday, 20 March

All day Arrivals
10:00 - 15:45 Registration
16:00 - 17:15 Welcome & Opening, EMEA review
Werner Knoblich
17:15 - 18:00 Break
18:00 - 19:00 Keynotes
Jim Whitehurst, Arun Oberoi
19:00 - 20:00 Awards Ceremony
Werner Knoblich
20:00 - 22:00 Welcome reception dinner (indoor)

Wednesday, 21 March

08:30 - 10:15 Keynotes
Paul Cormier, Tim Yeaton, John Allessio, Margaret Dawson & Brian Mikkelsen
10:15 - 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 - 12:30 Breakout sessions
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 Breakout sessions
15:30 - 18:00 Networking break
18:00 - 20:00 Keynotes
Customer speaker, DeLisa Alexander, Eric Shander, Michel Isnard, Regional Awards
20:00 - 22:00 Dinner

Thursday, 22 March

08:30 - 10:15 Keynotes
EMEA FY19 strategy, Customer speaker, GSI speaker
10:15 - 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 - 12:30 Breakout sessions
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:15 Breakout sessions
15:15 - 15:30 Room change - all return to Alexandria 1 & 2
15:30 - 18:30 Team building activity
18:30 - 19:30 Free time
Time to freshen up, email, etc.
19:30 Departure for dinner
20:00 - 22:00 Dinner (indoor)
22:00 - 02:00 DJ Party (indoor)

Friday, 23 March

10:00 - 12:00 Keynotes
12:00 - 13:30 Lunch
12:00 onward Departure

Learning & networking activities

To learn lots of interesting things in a short time there will be six demo pods and a supporting functions lab with Red Hat experts covering a broad range of topics.

Opening hours:
Tuesday 12:30 - 15:45
Wednesday during the networking break
Wednesday & Thursday during coffee and lunch breaks


  • Customer References
  • Social Selling
  • EMEA Merchandise
  • Red Hat Training
  • Services
  • Partners & Alliances


9 Steps enabling our Sales Professionals, Customers and Partners to Deliver Value

Dress code - as always - the Red Hat way: anything between business casual and business informal is perfect, also for the Wednesday & Thursday night dinners. More information about the activities can be found below but most important to keep in mind for Thursday night is: you better wear something that is comfortable enough to DANCE ALL NIGHT LONG!

For the team building activity make sure to bring some comfortable shoes that you can walk in for a longer time!

This year to open SKO, we want to create a platform to showcase YOU and YOUR talent. Red Hat celebrates diversity so use your imagination and wear something fun that represents you or your team:

  • ARTISTS: have you got a hidden talent? Show us! Come in fancy dress as your favourite singer, dancer, performer, musician or band.
  • HOBBY: what are you interested in or passionate about? Wear something that shows another side to you reflecting your hobbies and passions
  • SPORT: how do you like to spend your free time? Are you fanatical about a certain club or sport? Whether you follow your pursuits on land, sea or in the air, show us what you would wear and get us guessing

These are just some ideas. The last 2 years have been great fun to see you take part especially as teams. You consistently exceed our expectations so we look forward to another special evening. Don’t feel under pressure to buy anything new - just use your creativity and keep it fun. Keep in mind you should be ready and dressed for the celebration evening before the event officially starts at 16:00 on Tuesday March 20.

Red Hatters love to party and our SKO party on Thursday night is no exception. This year we will strip it back and want you to come dressed in white. You can look forward to a funky venue, great music and entertainment, amazing food and drinks whilst mingling with your fellow Red Hatters. Again don’t feel under pressure to buy anything new - just use your creativity and make sure at least your upper body clothing is white.

Please book your flights to/from Barcelona (BCN) as per guidelines of Werner Knoblich's invitation email.

The destination airport for this year's SKO is again Barcelona (BCN) so all should be able to book price worthy flights and arrive in time without any difficulties.

The SKO starts on Tuesday March 20th in the afternoon and ends on Friday March 23rd (noon). Everybody who is NOT invited to the Sales Alignment Meeting on Monday should book flights arriving at BCN airport Tuesday before noon and departing from BCN airport Friday after 16:00.

  1. All that have access to it: please ensure that you use the new travel platform Egencia for booking your flights. Make sure to choose price worthy flights, e.g. check possible indirect flights and alternative airports as well.
  2. Arrival at airport BCN latest 12:00 CET on Tuesday
    (for Sales Alignment Meeting arrival Monday at BCN, latest 10:30 CET)
  3. Departure from airport BCN not before 16:00 CET Friday

If you cannot find a reasonable priced flight on the required travel dates and within the timeframe, please do not book a flight on another day or time before you have been in contact with Esther Dalderup (esther@redhat.com) to discuss the matter.

In case you need an invitation letter to apply for visa please contact Esther Dalderup (esther@redhat.com) as soon as possible.

Shuttles will be going from BCN airport to the venue on Tuesday March 20 (and on Monday March 19 for the Sales Alignment Meeting). Shuttles will take you back to the airport on departure day Friday March 23 as well. Detailed information will be published shortly prior to the event.

Transfer time between BCN airport and venue: around 1 hour.

Transfers are scheduled based on flight arrival times.
For those who are traveling to Barcelona on earlier date/time and have requested to be scheduled for a seat in shuttle should look for their individual names in the shuttle schedule. It is not possible to just hop on any shuttle randomly; you would take somebody else’s seat doing that! Make sure to come to the Terminal that your name is listed for – not to the other one! They are not connected!

For those coming in from Madrid it is best to book the train (AVE 03093) to AVE station Camp de Tarragona – arriving at 11:57. For the return trip it is recommended to book the train (AVE 03142) departing 14:33 from from AVE station Camp de Tarragona, in case you want to enjoy lunch at the venue before departing. Otherwise, the earliest train you should book is the train (AVE 19730) departing at 13:22.

There will be a shuttle service from Tarragona train station (AVE station: Camp de Tarragona) to the venue. If you are based in Spain and drive to the venue by car or travel by train (to Tarragona) please indicate such clearly in the registration form.

Planning on arriving before the event starts? Or do you want to extend your stay in Spain after the event?

In case of a private extended stay in the area you need to inform the event organization about details as such influences the logistics of the organization. You can do this by putting details in the online registration form (field: Additional travel information).

Any longer stay prior or after event is considered to be a private extension of your stay (not paid by Red Hat) unless prior approval by Werner or Esther – approval of your manager is not sufficient.

The Sales Alignment Meeting, starting on Monday, is only to be attended if you have received an invitation from Werner (sent Monday 11th of December, 11:25h CET). The meeting starts on Monday March 19. If you are invited, you should book a flight arriving at BCN on Monday, as early as possible – latest at 10:30h. Anyone expected to attend this meeting is known hence his/her Monday arrival on Red Hat expense is automatically approved.

If you are invited to the Pre-Event Meeting your registration will automatically make sure a hotel room for the Monday night is booked for you as well. Please do not contact Esther to get confirmation on your Monday room. If your travel details in the registration data do not match with our list of expected arrival dates, it will be noticed and you will be contacted to clarify.

Register for EMEA SKO 2018

Have your flight and passport details at hand and check your size
(Requested size can only be guaranteed for all who register before Jan 12.)

SKO venue

Hotel & conference centre


Registering for the event means a hotel room will be booked for you for the 3 nights of the event (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night). You should NOT book a room yourself.

We will all have rooms in three of the five venue hotels; Hotel Caribe and Hotel PortAventura, which are both located within walking distance to the conference centre; the third venue hotel will be announced later.

Please note it is not possible to stay in the venue hotels prior (before Monday) event. The venue is closed for the season and opens it doors especially for us. However, as their season starts right after our SKO, it is possible to extend your stay privately at PortAventura after event. Please contact Esther in case you would like to do so.

The PortAventura Convention Centre

We are returning to the same location as last year: The PortAventura Convention Centre, located 1 hour from Barcelona.

Take a closer look at the venue by visiting their website, watching some highlights below, or download a map of the Convention Centre to get an overview of our event location.


Contact Esther Dalderup esther@redhat.com