To an outsider, Dell already seems like a natural partner for SXSW. The festival, which in recent years has become one of the most innovative and exciting technological showcases in the world, loves to highlight the best and brightest companies and products in the field. Meanwhile, Dell has remained at the forefront of emerging PC and laptop trends, while the majority of its competitors continue to see a steady decline in sales. What makes this an even more symbiotic relationship is that both SXSW and Dell started out in Austin, TX as relatively small ventures, and have organically grown over the years into entities that hold worldwide renown and respect. Recently, Dell made a huge splash at the Interactive festival with a lounge dubbed “The Experience.” Held at The Sunset Room, their installation showcased some of the most cutting-edge technology being offered by their family of brands, which now includes Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, and several more - a fleet of components which make up the newly minted Dell Technologies.
It’s been an exciting year for Dell Technologies, who is rolling out their first big ad campaign this spring. Created to provide “innovative technology solutions that drive human progress,” it combines the varied talents of creativity, entrepreneurship, virtual reality, and security. Senior VP of Global Brand and Creative at Dell Technologies, Liz Matthews, has actually spearheaded Dell’s presence for the last four years at SXSW; and her experience shone in this year’s installation. Attendees were able to get hands-on with some of the new tech Dell was showcasing, which made the corresponding panels and speakers feel all the more relevant and inspiring. The Sunset Room in downtown Austin provided sort of an oasis for festivalgoers looking to dive into some of the newest gaming technology while enjoying live music and panels, just a few blocks from the bustling heart of Interactive down at the Convention center.
In creating their unique interactive lounge experience, Dell said their goal was to present a collaboration of “disruptive leaders and innovators across a wide range of industries.” One of the coolest installations by far was the VJ Mix Booth, which allowed guests to control and interact with various screens, projections, and lighting in a digitally-transformed space. Demos for the brand new Alienware Gaming trailer and 8K displays were obviously a huge hit with the gamers, as were the debuts of new VR games ROM Extraction and John Wick. The virtual experience created for the new Jaguar Land Rover electric car, the I-Pace, also made for a unique and immersive festival experience, and celebri-stalkers actually got to get up close and personal with Entourage’s Adrian Grenier at a special brunch. Other highlights included a full-on gaming and VR party at sunset, a Springboard Dolphin Tank session, and even an interactive “hack-a-thon” which tasked teams of policymakers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and students (led by a “coach”) to design solutions to policy challenges faced by entrepreneurs running growing businesses. In keeping with the Interactive spirit of the festival, the audience even got to choose the winning solution.
While the Consumer Electronics Show may get all the glory when it comes to revealing the newest and most buzzed-about tech products each year, SXSW, along with partners like Dell, are continually making strides become an entity and experience all their own.
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