March 6, 2011

Shortarmguy Goes to Intel Solutions Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Intel Solutions Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Shortarmguy's Diary Entry for March 6, 2011

On Sunday, Dr. Bollig and I headed to Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual Intel Solutions Summit.  We stayed at the beautiful Venetian Hotel and Casino while we were there.

The reason for our trip was the annual Intel Solutions Summit (ISS).  We go here to rub shoulders with all the cool people at Intel and hear their plans for the year.  I'm happy to report that this year's mood was much more upbeat than year's past and everyone seems to be focused on growth again rather than running for the hills to avoid the inevitable economic collapse everyone had been predicting in recent years.
It was great to have the opportunity to see old friends like our former Intel rep, Ratika, as well as Deb and Lucas who I affectionately referred to as the Byte Speed Kids.  Not to their faces, of course.

We also had the chance to meet some new friends.  This girl was really friendly, but she kept calling me Mr. President which I thought was kind of different.

Shortarmguy and Cher. 
I like the sound of that for a TV Variety Show!

Intel went all out on the entertainment this year and hired these crazy jugglers who performed several times throughout the event.  They juggled fire, knives, rat traps, and even chain saws!  I always wanted to be a juggler.  It didn't work though because everytime I'd throw the ball up with my right hand, it would just land on the floor somewhere near my left side.

It wasn't all fun and games, though.  We were definitely there to work and meet new vendors.  My co-workers all make fun of me and think that we only go to ISS to party, but they don't realize how hard it can be to negotiate with some of these people.  They're really hardcore.

We did get to leave the hotel one night and went down the street to a place called Margaritaville.  I think we went there last year as well, but I really didn't remember much about it.  That's why this year I vowed to be a good boy and stop myself at two margaraitas.  Beyond that, they start having a funny effect on a guy!

Our Intel rep is Scott Schmoll and his boss is John Kalvin.  We went to Margaritaville with several people from John's region.  Sure, we were all smiling in this picture, but many of us weren't by the time we were ready to go back to our hotel.  As a matter of fact, I'm not positive a couple of these guys even made it back to the hotel.  They could still be wandering around the streets of Vegas for all I know.

On the final night we were there, we attended the Awards Ceremony and shared an excellent dinner together.  I wish we could say we won an award, but unfortunately I can't.  We did see the people who won them, though, so that ought to count for something!

Kevin Nealon was the entertainer for the evening and was darned funny.  He did his famous subliminal man skit from Saturday Night Live as well as a bunch of other clever material.  I wanted to run up to the stage to meet him, but didn't think it would be right to interupt his show.  Maybe next time...

After the Awards Ceremony, Intel rented out TAO Nightclub for us to boogie away the evening.  David told me that he reads about Tao in People Magazine and it's one of the hottest clubs in Vegas.  He said it is frequently visited by the biggest stars in Hollywood.   So I figured I'd better interview the staff to find out the skinny on the stars.

This was the first bouncer we met.  He was a bit taken aback when I asked if I could take my picture with him.  He said noone had ever requested that before.  When I asked him to describe some celebrity sightings for me, he said Jessica Alba was the hottest lady he'd ever seen in the club and Whoopi Goldberg was the nicest.  I thought that was a pretty good start for an inside scoop!

This waiter told me he served Aaron Rodgers who was accompanied by three very fine looking ladies a few weeks before.  I asked if he was a jerk and he said "Nope.  He's a very nice guy!"  He must be lying, though, because we all know that's not possible to say about a member of the Green Bay Packers!  

This is Drew. He used to work for Reggie Jackson as a kind of Las Vegas personal assistant. He told me a cool story about the time he met Eminen.  Said he was awesome!  He also met 50 Cent who he described as huge. I asked him what celebrities are like to work for and he said celebrities are just like everyone else. Half are really cool down to earth people. The other half are pricks.

This is Ray and Emily.  They were bartenders and told me this was the greatest job there is.  They said it feels like every night is a party.  They made me want to stay, but when it came time for the bar to close I couldn't find a place to sleep so I went back to my room instead.

This is Steve Dallman.  He's an Intel Executive and a long time friend of the computer reseller channel.  He hosted the Awards Ceremony which is always fun because he has a tendency to get a little risque in his monologues.  His previous performances at Intel ISS shows are legendary!!  He's not afraid to get a little politically incorrect which is something I really admire in the man considering he works at such a big company!

Ratika and I closed down the joint dancing to the weirdest mix of 80's music and club beats that we'd ever heard!  Had I known my cheeks were this rosy at this point of the evening, I probably would have gone to bed about a half hour earlier!!  Aaah, but it was a lot of fun, though, so what the heck!

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