14 Rocking, Plaid-Clad Scenes That Show Dell EMC World Was The Biggest Party In Vegas

What Happens In Vegas…

The tone for Dell EMC World was set early last week in Las Vegas, and that tone was "party," or maybe "Scotland." Either way, the event drew more than 13,000 attendees, nearly a third of them partners.

The partying served as a punctuation on the conference's role in positioning Dell EMC as the market's biggest, most powerful IT vendor and technology innovator, as well as a way to say "thank you" to the partners, customers and employees who have made the company's integration a success since Dell bought EMC last September for $58 billion.

Even the most wait-and-see partners seemed genuinely excited by the potential Dell EMC represents.

Click through to check out 14 scenes from the show.

John Byrne Sets The Tone

Channel Chief John Byrne was seemingly everywhere during the conference: On stage pumping up partners; in a fishbowl-like, glass-enclosed conference room huddling with partners, executives and customers; and here, kicking off a partner appreciation party with members of his channel team at the Cosmoplitan on the Vegas strip.

The party featured a set by country-rock mega-star the Zac Brown Band, and it wasn't the only time during the week when Byrne showed off his rock-and-roll side.

Party With Michael Dell

When Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell wasn't on stage presenting to customers and partners, or wasn't in an untold number of meetings with them, he was seen strolling everywhere.

In this case, Dell (center) was at the press and influencer party Monday night, along with Howard Elias (wearing the fedora to Dell's right), Dell EMC's president of services and IT.

Virtually Relevant

Virtual reality, or at least the term, got a lot of mention during the conference, although some wondered why the technology didn't claim a larger stake in the show's programming.

On the show floor, Dell's Alienware virtual reality gaming division carried the mantle for the technology with two demonstrations, one purely for entertainment, pictured here, and another that showed how VR can be used to help train workers more efficiently in highly technical fields.

Keep Your Friends Close, Your Enemies Closer

In the case of Cisco, Dell EMC was able to do both. Cisco is a close partner of Dell EMC in the Vblock converged infrastructure market, and despite reports to the contrary, the two are enjoying a growing business.

However, Cisco and Dell EMC are major competitors in a couple of key areas, particularly servers. Dell EMC also wants to be more competitive with Cisco in the networking business, while Cisco hopes to be a stronger competitor against Dell EMC in the burgeoning hyper-converged infrastructure market.

The Ultimate Selling Machine

What better way to drive home the sexiness of IoT and machine learning than parking a nearly $150,000, 350-horsepower BMW in the middle of the show floor.

The i8 is a plug-in hybrid technology showpiece that has impressed even the most dedicated gas monkeys in the automotive press. BMW is also developing a self-driving i8 concept, shown here. BMW runs a global private cloud using Dell EMC storage and managed services. The company also uses Pivotal for big data analytics.

Happy Chance Meeting In The Taxi Line

Small world! Your reporter just happened to be in the taxi line at the Las Vegas airport with a long-time VAR buddy and Dell EMC channel partner, Laguna Hills, Calif.-based Sidepath. And, by sheer coincidence, also right there was a Sidepath customer, Simi Valley, Calif.-based Aerovironment. Aerovironment is an engineering firm that designed things like General Motors' prototype all-electric car and the Sunraycer solar-powered car now featured in the Smithsonian.

Pictured from left are Jim Mimlitsch, solutions architect as Sidepath; Aerovironment CIO Richard Childress; and Patrick Mulvee, partner at Sidepath.

John Byrne Doubles Down On Scotland

Perhaps you've noticed that John Byrne is a [roll your r's] proud Scotsman. Well, he drove the point home last week, using tartan plaid chairs on stage for panel discussions, wearing tartan plaid ties, making countless Braveheart references and teasing a chance for partners to win a trip to the land of haggis next year.

Byrne kicked off the Dell EMC Global Partner Summit with a performance by the Red Hot Chili Pipers, the kilt-wearing "most famous bagpipe band in the world."

Party With WWT!

Worldwide Technologies, a St. Louis-based solution provider, had a huge presence at Dell EMC World. Its most visible presence was a 1,600-square-foot booth at the entrance to the solution pavilion. That booth was part of WWT's coming to the event as a diamond sponsor, giving it a unique role it shared with Brocade, Intel, Microsoft, and Toshiba, and likely costing a huge amount of money.

But that's not all. WWT also sponsored a huge party at the Tao nightclub in the Venetian hotel to celebrate its status as one of a handful of Dell EMC Titanium Black-level partners. What better way to celebrate than with a cookie? And there was all the alcohol that went with it.

It's Not Magic, It's Michael Dell

One of Dell Technologies Chairman and CEO Michael Dell's catch phrases during keynote presentations was, "it's not magic, it's science," and he used it to bring technologies like IoT, machine learning and virtual reality into a more practical context.

In keeping with a recent trend toward magicians at tech conferences, though, Dell welcomed David Blaine to the stage to blow some minds, and while he didn’t attempt any stunts in which he shoots or freezes himself, he did ask an audience member to drive an icepick into his hand, conjured a missing puzzle piece for Dell EMC infrastructure chief David Goulden, and here, impresses Dell with an unusual card trick.

DXC Makes Its Debut

DXC Technology, the Tysons Corner, Va.-based services business founded just this year as a joint venture between Computer Sciences Corp. and part of Dell EMC arch-rival Hewlett Packard Enterprise, made its first appearance at a major IT conference at Dell EMC World.

Zac Brown Makes It Rain

The week began with an unusual bout of rain in Las Vegas, but the showers weren't enough to deter country rock superstars the Zac Brown band from bringing down the house at the Cosmpolitan.

Brown performed for a private partner appreciation party that got the night off to a rowdy start with a performance of some of his eight-piece band's original songs, as well as some covers of songs by bands from Queen to Kings of Leon.

Tintri Welcomes EMC Customers To Las Vegas

The competition for mindshare began even before leaving the Las Vegas airport. Tintri, a Mountain View, Calif.-based all-flash storage array vendor, offered to help deal with "Dell EMC baggage."

Does anyone think the use of "baggage" here was a subtle enough message from a Dell EMC competitor?

Party With Tech Data!

Tech Data, as a distributor, seems an unlikely participant at a conference where the vast majority of attendees were business users. But Tech Data did have a booth in the solution pavilion, and sponsored a big party for partners and Dell EMC execs.

Relax With Insight

Insight Enterprises, the huge Tempe, Ariz.-based solution provider and Dell EMC channel partner, made its presence felt -- quite literally, in fact -- at Dell Enterprises with its Relaxation Zone. Dell EMC World attendees with tired, aching, sore muscles after carrying around all that vendor swag and running from meeting to meeting, could stop here for a relaxing massage.