10 Scenes From The First (And Last) Dell EMC World In Austin

Dell EMC World Reaches Austin's Limits

Just weeks after closing its historic, $58 billion acquisition of EMC, Dell Technologies held the first Dell EMC World in Austin last week.

The conference was part technology crash course, part marketing campaign and part social event where execs, partners and customers could learn, network and soak in the confidence and enthusiasm being exuded by Chairman and CEO Michael Dell and other top leaders.

It was also the last time the event will be held in Austin, where Dell has held its annual conference for the last several years. Becoming a $74 billion global IT powerhouse means the conference has outgrown Austin, a city of nearly 1 million people with a small-town feel. Both the convention center and the city's hotels were stretched to the max – and maybe beyond – during the event.

Dell EMC World will be held in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future. EMC traditionally held its annual EMC World conference there in May, and Dell EMC will do the same starting in just seven months. Click through to see several scenes from the first and last Dell EMC World to be held in Austin.

Center Stage With Michael Dell

Michael Dell was the picture of confidence during the conference. Just six weeks after closing the biggest merger in the history of the IT industry, Dell was more than ready to give voice to his vision for Dell Technologies, which includes a big role for the channel. Advancements will come so quickly and have such an impact that Dell wonders if humankind will be able to keep up. Still, it'll be channel partners and their customers "that are going to create and do all the combinatorial inventions that will result in the big improvements that are coming to the world."

Channel Partners Enjoy The Limelight

Partners were certainly front and center during the conference, soaking up praise from top executives and learning some details of the company's developing channel program. One of the very first things conference attendees saw as they entered the "Solutions Showcase" was a partner desk where customers could research, find and connect with partners in a variety of ways.

Crowded Summit

Dell EMC World drew thousands to Austin, and hundreds of Dell EMC channel partners crammed into the venue Tuesday for a Partner Summit. The event gave partners the opportunity to hear from, and speak with, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, as well as channel and sales leaders like Channel Chief John Byrne, commercial sales president Marius Haas, enterprise sales head Bill Scannell, channel marketing chief Cheryl Cook and others.

Big Fish, Small Facility

While the Austin Convention Center has undergone expansions in the past, it just doesn't have the space to accommodate massive Dell EMC World crowds. That's one of the reasons the conference is being held in Las Vegas in May, and for the foreseeable future. Built in 1992, the facility's capacity is well below the 8,000 that came to Austin for the event. And despite being surrounded by hotels, some of them brand new, the city's lodgings were booked to bursting.

The Future Of The PC

Dell says it is in a good position to take advantage of a consolidating PC market, and executives including Michael Dell and Vice Chairman and President of Client Operations Jeff Clarke, pointed out that while Dell may not have claimed the top spot in PC shipments in the latest quarter, its market share and revenue grew more than competitors like HP Inc. and Lenovo. Here, conference attendees at the Microsoft booth check out Dell Windows PCs, including the Latitude and XPS lines.

Virtually Educational

While Dell EMC's enterprise gear got most of the attention during the conference, Frank Azor, executive director of Dell Technologies' Alienware gaming PC unit got some stage time to talk about advances in virtual reality technology, including the system being used in this photo. Here, a conference attendee works on a truck in virtual reality. Azor explained that the system will allow future mechanics to learn their trade less expensively and allow pros to diagnose and repair vehicles more quickly and easily. The technology, Azor said, can be expanded to many verticals, including health care.

Run DMGeek

The crew from World Wide Technology, a large Dell EMC solution provider, dressed up as Run DMC as part of a Twitter contest offering a $200 Adidas gift card as a prize.

Not Quite Machine Learning

Austin is a great party city, and after hours is time for various organizations to throw down. Here, two men dressed as illuminated robots dance at a party thrown by Intel on the last night of the conference.

Viva Las Vegas

Not only will Dell EMC World move to Las Vegas, it will do it in just seven months. EMC traditionally held its annual EMC World conference in Vegas in May, and the company had contracts for the next couple of years in place at the sprawling Venetian/Palazzo when the Dell EMC merger closed. While Austin struggles to handle the 8,000 attendees that came to the first Dell EMC World, Vegas barely notices the more-than 10,000 that have rushed to EMC World in recent years.

The Circus Leaves Town

There's no indication that Dell EMC World will return to Austin. One executive told CRN the conference would be held in Vegas "forever," and most attendees were saddened to learn that the conference would move away from Austin. Here, workers pack up one of the main halls.