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Valeria, what made the event even more outstanding (at least to me) is that it was not sponsored by Dell at all but was a personal effort of Richard along with David Armano and Mark Drosos. In fact, they were so intent on seeing that the "customers" (their friends) had a good time, they forgot to set out the donation basket so attendees could help cover the cost of the food. After the fact (and after $1,000 in out of pocket expenses) they've set up a Chip-In widget for donation.

But the point of your post is still correct: Dell has facilitated so many means for direct customer interaction that it's becoming a distinguishing feature for them. At SXSWi, Dell sponsored a couple of events that stood out from the others: with no loud music, you could actually carry on a conversation at the Dell panels. I wish the SXSW organizers, and especially the party-throwers, would follow Dell's example and provide a forum where real conversation could take place.

I agree, Claire. The boots were nice, as were the hats and especially the company.

Thanks for the great post. Just a quick comment on the event itself. A fun event and thought it might have been more meaningful had the store and the organizer arranged it so that the portion of the sales could go towards a local charity? i know that would have gave me somewhat of a 'justification' for wanting to spend $500 for a pair of boots. :) Boots were just absolutely beautiful!

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