A conference in Austin? (or “I’ll be at Dell EMC World”)

Thanks to an influencer pass via EMC Elect (thanks Mark Browne!), I’ll be at Dell EMC World with several of my EMC Elect compatriots ( Jon, RobDan, and many more I’m sure). A couple things immediately spring to mind if I’m someone reading this post….how much of your soul did you sell for an influencer pass? Since when are there conferences in Austin? How can you travel to a city without Uber?

Side-note: Yep, I’m still job hunting but the search is going well…quite a few really good roles out there right now that I’m pretty excited about. The hardest part may be deciding which one to pursue. Thanks for asking! 😉

Before we get to the questions, let’s just say I’m quite excited to be at the first large combined Dell EMC event — when I received the invitation it was still called Dell World actually. While it’s easy to get a bit blasé at times about conferences and keynotes in particular, over the years I’m come to appreciate them for the carefully planned spectacles they are. Even if there’s nothing specifically exciting from a keynote, hundreds of man hours went into planning what was said and more importantly what was NOT said. When it’s a field I’m quite familiar with, I find it really fascinating to listen carefully for what WASN’T said in front of an audience of thousands…there’s a lot of company strategy and focus you can figure out that way.

Similar to previous conferences, I plan to live blog the keynotes and put up a good bit of blog content from the sessions and briefings I attend. There will be some specific “influencer briefings” where some info will be under NDA – I’ll post what I can.

The conference is actually fairly short comparatively – starts the afternoon of October 18 and done the afternoon of October 20. This is far shorter than EMC World, VMworld, or other similar conferences. It will be interesting to see how the agenda has been adjusted given a much larger number of topics than when the dates were first locked in a year or two ago.

As well, I’ve not been to hardly any Dell events – there’s a part of me that frankly isn’t interested in much of Dell’s traditional portfolio but I also realize they’re a huge company that I’ve not focused on much except in competitive situations. Here’s to seeing what sparks my interest….I’ll be attending with an open mind.

Ok…thanks for waiting – here’s the Q&A.

Question – “how much of your soul did you sell for an influencer pass? is semi-soullessness a requirement when you’re a social media quasi-person?”

Answer – the conversations were surprisingly free of any soul valuation. While I’ve previously sold my soul in various ways, it didn’t even come up this time. Seriously though, there’s zero conditions on my attendance believe it or not.

This will actually be the second event I’ve attended courtesy of EMC Elect – back in 2014 I was at the EMC Megalaunch 2014 and blogged a good bit.

While I want to be entirely upfront that Dell EMC is covering my flight, hotel, and conference pass, there’s been zero discussion about what I’ll write. Having said that, I’m a known quantity so there’s implicit trust that 1) I will blog/tweet and 2) I won’t say offensive crazy stuff. At the same time I don’t work for Dell EMC and very much have my own opinions (if I didn’t, I’d not be good at working with customers to craft something that truly works beyond slideware). Let’s just say my personal credibility is worth far more than flight/hotels/pass – frankly I like to think it can’t be bought but regardless always prefer to disclose my biases (something I learned was critical in working closely with EMC and customers while at Varrow – everyone has biases so being honest about them is critical).

Question – “Since when are there conference in Austin?”

Hopefully you’ve heard by now but Dell has a thing for TX and Austin specifically. While my conference attendance has all been focused on Las Vegas and San Francisco, according to Eventbrite there are quite a few conferences in Austin.

Update: I can’t believe I forgot OpenStack Summit in Austin earlier this year….especially as two coworkers attended (Josh Coen & Tony Pittman) and I discussed Openstack strategy with them at length after the conference. Tony even has a great presentation walking through “Can I move my stuff to Openstack?“.

I’ll be at the JW Marriot which is incredibly convenient as well. What’s more I have a high school friend living in Austin who works at Atlassian there…am looking forward to catching up with him.

How can you travel to a city without Uber?

That might be the hardest part of this whole trip. I’ve pretty much stopped renting a car if at all possible and use Lyft first with Uber second. At this point I’ve used Lyft & Uber in 15+ states and 10+ countries. There’s a new service in Austin called Fasten (recommendation from Gina Minks) which I’ll be trying – here’s hoping it won’t be too much of a hassle to be Uber-less.

  1. If you’re there, please look me up – Twitter is about the best way to get ahold of me at conferences. I’ll be arriving Monday and flying out late Thursday.

2 thoughts on “A conference in Austin? (or “I’ll be at Dell EMC World”)

  1. Pingback: Dell EMC World 2016 – DSSD! | Think Meta

  2. Pingback: Dell EMC World 2016 – Closing Thoughts | Think Meta

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