back to article VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

VMware has been accused of slyly shutting down and evicting a partner's four-day tech event running this week alongside the VMworld US conference in Las Vegas. Just as IT industry bods were biting into their lunch at the Border Grill restaurant in the Mandalay Bay hotel during the second day (27 August) of enterprise software …

  1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Mushroom

    MGM

    It really stands for "Monetising Grief and Mayhem"

    1. BillG Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Outboarding

      I had a similar situation. 'Bout 15 years ago I was in charge of tech marketing for a fun mid-sized company and we were going to have a one-evening event to promo our technology in San Francisco in a hotel two miles away from a major trade show. We had everything set up when I got a call three days beforehand from the hotel manager telling us that the contract they had with major trade show prohibited them from holding our event and they were cancelling.

      I mentioned that our lawyer was going to call him. Lawyer later called, told them that since this was his (the hotel manager's) decision that our action would be against not only the hotel, but also against the hotel manager, personally. Meanwhile I called the PR director for the major trade show, who was apologetic but she said in a semi-evil voice "this is how its done". Very politely I told her that we had about a dozen members of the press confirmed to attend, and when I called the press on the phone (not email) to tell them I was being forced to cancel our event should I give the press her name?

      Well she stuttered like porky pig and said she'd get back to me. A few hours later I got calls from both the hotel manager & the PR person telling me my event was on. After that I invited our lawyer to each event with the promise of good food and a fun time.

      If I was IGEL, I would have brought my lawyer just in case, and when their goons started tearing things down I'd have my lawyer, business card in hand, identify himself to the minimum-wage goons and ask to see their badges for guaranteed PERSONAL legal action.

      Can't fight a big company, but you can take down their people one at a time.

      1. Cpt Blue Bear

        Re: Outboarding

        "After that I invited our lawyer to each event with the promise of good food and a fun time."

        Damnit! I cannot find or think of a suitable Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas quote about taking your "attorney" to Las Vegas.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Multi-national corporations at their finest

    Se title.

  3. Moosh

    Actually disgusting.

  4. H in The Hague Silver badge

    Useful info

    Now we all know which hotel chain and software vendor to avoid. Foot, meet gun and Streisand effect.

    1. Paul Johnston

      Re: Useful info

      Makes you wonder if people will ever learn

      Takes you ages to build a good reputation but it can be destroyed in an instant.

      Isn't hubris great!

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Useful info

      It's even easier than that. After what happened with DefCon, I'm just not going to Vegas at all anymore. Easy peasy.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Useful info

        I'm just not going to Vegas at all anymore.

        Agreed. I've never liked Las Vegas anyway - I find it loud, ugly, and annoying. Even LA and NYC are more interesting to me. Now thanks to this sort of vile behavior by the hotels, I have a good reason to refuse to go there.

        All the interesting presentations end up online anyway.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Useful info

          Sadly, Vegas has long been one of my favorite places to visit, and I'll miss taking trips there.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Useful info

      "Now we all know which hotel chain and software vendor to avoid. "

      Funnily enough (and entirely coincidentally) I'm just stripping out the last vestiges of that crapware from our systems because.... well, it simply doesn't work very well,

  5. iron Silver badge
    Stop

    Between this and the disgraceful treatment of Defcon attendees, Las Vegas is telling the IT world that they do not want our money and we are not welcome. Hopefully next year conference organisers can find different venues in another city where they will be welcomed rather than persecuted.

    1. Tsurotu
      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Hull?

        Heavens no. Somewhere fun. Somewhere warm. Somewhere scenic. (None of which applies to Hull)

        Hmm... Negril, Jamaica.

        1. maffski

          There is no more beautiful sight than the vista of (Kingston upon) Hull.

          Receding.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Hull?

        Come for the conference, stay for the phosphorescent waterfowl.

      3. Phil Kingston Silver badge
        Coat

        Having had a decent year as City of Culture they'll be crying out for some IT conferences. They would, if you like, become City of Vulture.

      4. Flywheel Silver badge

        Scunthorpe!

    2. CheesyTheClown

      Skipped Cisco Live two years and will next

      Cisco has been holding Live! In Vegas lately. I have absolutely no interest in me, my colleagues or my customers being in Vegas for the event.

      The town is too loud. It’s very tacky. It is precisely the place civilized people would not want to be associated with. Let’s be honest, “what happens in Vegas...” guess what, this is not the kind of professional relationship I want to maintain with those who depend on me or I depend on.

      Why would you want to hold a conference in Vegas?

      1) Legalized prostitution

      2) Legalized gambling

      3) Free booze at the tables

      4) Free or cheap buffets to gouge yourself at

      5) Readily available narcotics of all sorts

      6) Massive amounts of waste... not a little, the city must be one of the most disgustingly wasteful cities on earth.

      7) Sequins... if that’s your thing.

      Can you honestly say that you would want your serious customers to believe this is the type of behavior you associate with professionalism?

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Skipped Cisco Live two years and will next

        Prostitution is actually illegal in Clarke County (Las Wages). There are a couple of counties were it is legal in Nevada.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "1) Legalized prostitution"

        Prostitution was legalized in NZ years ago. It's the oldest business in the world. I don't see why it's workers should have to work illegally.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          ' the oldest business in the world'

          Even slave trader is a very old business, and it's good now it's illegal. Ancient doesn't mean right and good.

          1. ShadowDragon8685

            Re: ' the oldest business in the world'

            Slavery depends on stripping others of their autonomy and basic dignity.

            Well-regulated prostitution does none of that, and would probably go a hell of a long way towards making a lot of unhappy people generally a little happier in life.

          2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

            Optional

            @LDS...

            One fairly massive difference between slavery and prostitution: people engaged in one can leave any time they want. Of course, some foolish people believe all prostitution is always aligned with the some form of slavery/trafficking/other-unrelated-evil, but some foolish people believe the earth is flat.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: "1) Legalized prostitution"

          "Prostitution was legalized in NZ years ago. "

          It was never illegal. Soliciting on the streets and brothelkeeping were verboten and only the latter has been legalised - for the safety of the workers (which has worked out fairly well overall, despite the NIMBYs trying to force them back into the shadows)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So thats the upside.... What's the downside again?

        I think it's great that you've listed the upsides to a conference in Vegas, but surely you should have listed the downsides so you can be seen to be objective...

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: So thats the upside.... What's the downside again?

          I don't see any of those as upsides.

      4. ozmark

        Re: Skipped Cisco Live two years and will next

        Yep, best to keep sex workers as illegal on street corners with drug addicts than to regulate them with required health checks as some fancy "civilised" countries do.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "best to keep sex workers as illegal on street"

          Yes, because when it's illegal you can jail those who exploit women - albeit it's true too little is done against sex trafficking and women exploiting, because there's too bloody money behind it.

          "Health checks"? And when they are infected with grave illnesses by their "customers" what do you do? Forbid them to "work" and force them into poverty? Or are you going to give them free healthcare and a retirement pay? Maybe it would be better to force "customers" to undergo health checks, wouldn't it?

          There are countries that are not civilized - they are just "orderly" - they put rubbish under the carpet hoping no one could see it - just you can feel the smell of a rotting society. No surprise they are also often the same racists countries from which the worst of Western Civilization came from.

          Just like gambling, as long as it's illegal you can keep it away from those who ruin themselves, otherwise your hands are tied.

          No surprise both "business" are managed by organized crime - regardless of they are legal or not, because there's a lot of easy money to be made. And if it's legal, you can still run more profitable illegal variations behind a legal facade, and easily launder money.

          Just it looks a lot of men have to pay for sex, or they don't have any chance, and don't want to lose it, even if many women are trafficked, forced and exploited into prostitution.

          I would suggest you to take another ancient and well regarded job, that of eunuchs. It will solve all of your problems...

          1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

            Re: "best to keep sex workers as illegal on street"

            Ah, @LDS is a "moralist" -- I wonder if the monicker is related to the "church" of the gullible?

            Anyway, the bizarre thing about LDS's ignorance is that it shoots itself in the foot: gambling in Las Vegas is perfectly legal, heavily regulated and *not* run by "organized crime".

            Bluntly, it seems like LDS (like the LDS) is based on a pure 1950's "Reefer Madness" view of social problems, and probably should be consigned to the dustbin of ignorant history, and let those who actually have sensible data deal with social issues...

          2. TangoDelta72
            Angel

            Re: "best to keep sex workers as illegal on street"

            Pssst... your Mormon is showing...

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Skipped Cisco Live two years and will next

        Hey CheeseClown, Cisco Live was in Orlando this year, and San Diego next year. And what does this post have to do with Cisco anyway? Let's focus on VMware's arrogance because that is fun.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: Skipped Cisco Live two years and will next

        > "Can you honestly say that you would want your serious customers to believe this is the type of behavior you associate with professionalism?"

        Lost Wages is generally aware of their negative perception among the population and has been working for years to transform their city center into a "family friendly" place, but with just a little discreet gambling...excuse me, "gaming" on the side. How well it's working I couldn't say, but I would guess not very. I live just two hours drive from LV and have been thru it much more than I care for, oy.

        However, there is one thing I find interesting; To be on the Vegas Strip around dusk, when the crowds become so dense you can hardly move. It's 99.9% visitors with roving eyes, and the remainder is street performers of the more polished kind. The cars are a very slow-moving river of steel, and people surge thru every gap. All set against walls of blinding, coruscating colours wherever you look.

        The lights, the noise, the letter X, it's all designed to inflame the senses!

        Just don't go in any casinos, unless you want your over-stimulated sensorium to go full-bummer. Some of 'em have smoking and all are loud and flashy, but not in a good way. No one is smiling, but they do grin once in a while. ;-/ Gaming is much too serious I guess. But at least the children are kept far away! Up on the roof, riding in a roller coaster set within a 1/4 scale mockup of New York City's big skyscrapers, circa 1940 or so. I did mention family friendly, right?

        Not too bad for a town founded upon a small spring in a big, big desert.

      7. PaulR79

        Re: Skipped Cisco Live two years and will next

        "Why would you want to hold a conference in Vegas?

        1) Legalized prostitution

        2) Legalized gambling

        3) Free booze at the tables

        4) Free or cheap buffets to gouge yourself at

        5) Readily available narcotics of all sorts"

        Are you trying to put me off or sell me a holiday? I can't decide..

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      "another city where they will be welcomed rather than persecuted"

      Perhaps in a country with a saner legal system, too.

    4. Soruk

      Somehow I doubt they would run into that problem holding their show in Basingstoke..!

      1. TheCynic

        Not enough Hotel rooms :)

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anne-Lise Pasch

        .. Basingstoke?

        People regularly tear down the bunting between GBK and Wagamama, but that's because they're all p***ed out of their skulls from the Wetherspoon.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'can find different venues in another city where they will be welcomed'

      America has become #1 in travel hassle, its a big problem now!

      Dear organizers, why not host your next Conference elsewhere?

      ~~~~~~~~

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/23/woman_iphone_border_patrol/

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/30/us_government_travelers_social_media/

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/13/us_government_sued_by_travelers/

    7. fronty

      "Hopefully next year conference organisers can find different venues in another city where they will be welcomed rather than persecuted."

      ... or shot.

    8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Between this and the disgraceful treatment of Defcon attendees, Las Vegas is telling the IT world that they do not want our money and we are not welcome."

      "We" being the little guys? I doubt DellVMWare see much of an issue with what went on. They probably see it as a benefit. I have no doubt the "big boys" will continue to use the place, especially now they know any smaller "competition" will be railroaded out of town if they ask nicely.

    9. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Between this and the disgraceful treatment of Defcon attendees, Las Vegas is telling the IT world that they do not want our money and we are not welcome. Hopefully next year conference organisers can find different venues in another city where they will be welcomed rather than persecuted.

      Could probably find plenty of places in Westchester County NY to host moderately-sized conferences, and it's still close enough to major transportation. Certainly cheaper than NYC and not beholden (as much) to labor unions. Beyond that there's Poughkeepsie or Kingston, although they're not so "pretty" to visit and function space is smaller and farther between. But even cheaper than Westchester.

  6. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Not just IT

    Vegas has been getting weird, well weirder, for some time.

    A family member has an on again, off again business relationship with USA Gymnastics. Back when Proctor and Gamble were still sponsors, USAG had some major events in Vegas. Then news about the pedo doctor Larry Nassar and USAG's cover-up hit.

    I was hanging out near the venue and saw some people quietly and not unreasonably exercising their 1st amendment rights of assembly and speech against USAG. Hotel security engaged, followed by Las Vegas' own. Beat a guy who refused to leave.

    I thought the goal was to "serve and protect" the public, not serve as the hotel PR office's goons.

    Its almost as if the whole effen place is run by the mob or something. Oh, wait...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Not just IT

      >Its almost as if the whole effen place is run by the mob or something. Oh, wait...

      Worse, it's now run by the PR dept of Global Megacorp

    2. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Not just IT

      Lesson learned:

      Future IT events will require hiring your own "Roadhouse" type tough guy (Patrick Swayze), to ensure the town boss man doesn't shut you down.

      Life's tough at the border (grill)

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Not just IT

      I thought the goal was to "serve and protect" the public, not serve as the hotel PR office's goons.

      Not in the US, no.

      The Police Have No Obligation To Protect You. Yes, Really.

      Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Not just IT

        +1 for the interesting links. Very depressing though. From a legal perspective I guess I can see where the senile nine are coming from... but the message sucks. Especially if you desire a society rules by law instead of vigilante action...

    4. PT

      Re: Not just IT

      Unfortunately, behavior like that causes no surprise to people who live here and are familiar with MGM. The main difference between MGM and the owners of earlier times is that the Mob knew how to run a casino and show the customer a good time. The New York private equity funds that own MGM have made even the parking lot a profit center.

      There are other conference facilities in town.

  7. kain preacher Silver badge

    I hope IGEL takes them to the cleaners.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I hope IGEL takes them to the cleaners.

      Hadn't heard of IGEL before, but I like them already.

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Neither had I and I used to pay close attention to the VDI space hoping, someday, that'd become the better idea whose time had come. [Yeah, right.] Looks interesting, possibly even worthwhile but can't tell until I kick the tires.

        Free advertising for IGEL, even if the worst possible way.

      2. Mark 110 Silver badge

        We've just done a migration onto IGEL thin clients / Citrix VDI environment. The Citrix desktops work well and I haven't heard any complaints about the IGEL thin client devices & management systems.

        Though lots of complaints about CDW who designed the platform for us . . .

        1. waldo kitty
          Holmes

          Though lots of complaints about CDW who designed the platform for us . . .

          CDW? as in Computer Discount Warehouse?

        2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          @ Mark 110 Oooh, hello Mark! We're just dipping our toe into VDI using Igel thin clients and Citrix VDI, and CDW have done some work on our PoC so far. The Citrix guy from CDW we had really knew his stuff, the Nutanix part was a bit sketchy but we got CDW to fix the issues there (bridging, corp and public lan, Nutanix with an interface on each), but it got sorted well enough for the trial.

          I might come pick your brains later,... : -)

      3. R J

        I used to support quite a big set up of WYSE/Dell thin Clients. Was never truly happy with them.

        The last few years we've been using IGEL thin clients. Best thin clients I've supported so far. Their management console is superior anything I've seen from the other vendors. The clients we have are past the expected lifetime, and they still keep running and running.

        We're currently upgrading all our IGELs to newer Versions, not even considering any competitors (even tho we do have a lot of Dell stuff here). Recommended if you need a quality thin client that's also easy to manage.

        Now I just wish I could oust VMware from our server room. Sadly, someone is too "religious" to allow for any other hypervisor (weirdly enough, we have quite a large setup of XenServers.. I'm sorry, I mean Citrix Hypervisor (unless they changed the name again....).. in our lab.

        Well, looking onwards, we'll probably have to look for ways to do things cheaper. My contribution will be to ditch VMware from everything I have a hand in :)

      4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Hadn't heard of IGEL before, but I like them already.

        Conversely, I've known about Dell for years, and I've disliked them pretty much from the start. Funny about that.

    2. Stork Bronze badge

      IGEL

      Is German for hedgehog afair

      1. registered-on-register

        Re: IGEL

        explains the logo, doesn't it? ;-)

  8. cirby

    Convention contracts

    A lot of shows have a problem with vendors trying to take advantage of their shows by hosting events in the hotels the show books (or right next door). For example, instead of paying the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars to book a large booth at the show, someone might host an event at a nearby restaurant.

    This is often called "outboarding," and is frowned on by basically the entire trade show industry. Lots of companies have been shut down in very similar situations. Most big convention hotels have policies against outboarding.

    Yeah, you might be a "partner" of the exhibiting company, but in this case you're acting more like a competitor - and a somewhat disreputable one, at that.

    They probably saved a couple of hundred thousand by hosting this at the restaurant, but now they've pissed off their "partner."

    There's a similar practice called "suitcasing," where someone attends a show, doesn't pay for a booth, but runs around selling their products to attendees (spend $2000 for a badge an a hotel room, instead of $30,000 for a booth). Generally, if you get caught you immediately lose your badge, and are usually banned from ever attending that show again...

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Convention contracts

      "This is often called "outboarding," and is frowned on by basically the entire trade show industry."

      Be that as it may, but "frowned upon"is not a legal basis for action. Surely since IGEL is a VMWare partner who had exhibited at VMWorld in previous years, and VMWare staff were among those attending IGEL's event, then VMWare should have known that IGEL wasn't exhibiting at their show AND that they were holding their own show next door. In that case the approach to take would have been to have a polite chat with IGEM, or else ask MGM's restaurants / other venues to refuse IGEM's booking request.

      But IGEL had contracts in place with the restaurant that were unilaterally broken by the restaurant, meaning the restaurant is itself liable. If the restaurant did this at the behest of MGM with the threat of not having their lease renewed, that is blackmail and MGM is liable for that. If VMWare pressured MGM (again maybe under threat of not hosting their event there again), that's also basically blackmail for which VMWare are liable.

      1. cirby

        Re: Convention contracts

        Oddly enough, "outboarding" usually IS a basis for action.

        When you look at the contracts big hotels make you sign when you do shows, one of those nice little clauses usually mentions outboarding, with "we can shut you down" language buried in there.

        ...and when you have an "independent" restaurant in a hotel, using hotel resources (like in-house AV), they're controlled by the same sort of language.

        It's going to be really interesting when the lawyers for IGEL get to deal with all of the contracts they signed when they set this event up. It'll be friggin' HILARIOUS when they find out how many IGEL people had badges for the VMWare show, and if they were promoting the outboarding event at the show, IGEL could be hosed in even more ways.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Convention contracts

          Cirby, so if that's the case, shouldn't the restaurant have refused the booking in the first place? They didn't know? Sounds like it's their problem.

          The way you describe it makes it sound like IGEL booked a peppa-pig convention, then secretly revealed their true selves at the last minute!

          1. cirby

            Re: Convention contracts

            It's probably more the case that the restaurant assumed the group was part of the main convention, and didn't find out about it until the day of the show.

            I've seen worse things at shows. Like a major company shipping their entire $500,000 booth to the wrong continent, and finding out the day AFTER setup was supposed to start.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Convention contracts

            "Cirby, so if that's the case, shouldn't the restaurant have refused the booking in the first place?"

            And this is likely EXACTLY what happened. There was likely an agreement in place with VMware that no other vendor conferences could be held on MGM property during VMworld. MGM screwed up and booked the event with IGEL. VMworld's attorneys reminded MGM of that fact (and rightly so) once they caught wind that there was another conference on-site, and MGM responded in this way to prevent a breach of contract suit. I agree that MGM didn't handle this well though.

            At the end of the day, this is an MGM issue, not a VMware issue. IGEL should have known better than to attempt outboarding during the conference.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Convention contracts

              "IGEL should have known better than to attempt outboarding during the conference."

              Why? I still don't see where IGEL did anything wrong here.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Convention contracts

              "MGM responded in this way to prevent a breach of contract suit."

              In the process.... causing another breach of contract and accompanying suit.

              Oh dear, how sad.

    2. Jamtea

      Re: Convention contracts

      Okay, but there's only so far that this can go. Holding an event at the same time in the same place due to most of your prospective customers being there is not exactly a bad idea. Being forced into noncompetitive business practices due to attendance at the VMWorld event is all the justification they need for holding their own event nearby. Bullying venue owners into doing your corporate bidding by threatening their existence is unethical if not illegal.

      IGEL literally did nothing wrong in circumventing Dell's restrictive rules by holding a separate event here, and Dell via MGM Resorts and Border Grill are the only ones who have actually done anything wrong. They should definitely be taken to the cleaners for this.

      1. cirby

        Re: Convention contracts

        The "restrictive rules" are mostly just "pay for a booth, and if you want to host a larger event off-site, pay us some cash to advertise the event."

        IGEL did a lot of things wrong, starting with "we're going to host a competing event at one of the contracted hotels for the show without reading the hotel contracts thoroughly."

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Convention contracts

          @cirby:

          "It's going to be really interesting when the lawyers for IGEL get to deal with all of the contracts they signed when they set this event up."

          AND "...without reading the hotel contracts thoroughly."

          So, should I infer that you work for MGM or their restaurant, since you seem to have access to the contracts that IGEL signed?

          Or, alternatively, you're just speculating about what MIGHT be in those contracts, and thinking that IGIL's lawyers are so incompetent that they signed off on clauses that they knew they would be violating?

          (Note - I'm not saying that's not the case, it could easily be that IGIL is in violation of some contract clauses. But given the lawsuit they're lobbing, how likely is that? )

          1. StheD

            Re: Convention contracts

            I don't work for MGM or any hotel, but I have been involved with conferences, and any good event planner would have this in a contract. So I'm betting @cirby is correct. When we sold out hotels we had language that prevented companies not exhibiting with us from booking a suite and setting up their own off-floor demos, which drives attendees away from the exhibit floor and from the companies that paid.

            If IGEL bought a booth and went through VMWare they probably could have had their lunch.

            Restaurant managers are not privy to the details of contracts, or to the intricacies of the IT industry, and so may be excused for not knowing this could be a problem.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Convention contracts

              "Restaurant managers are not privy to the details of contracts, or to the intricacies of the IT industry, and so may be excused for not knowing this could be a problem."

              They should absolutely not be excused.

              If I enter into a contract with you, and then later find out that I contracted for things that I was restricted from providing because of a contract I had with someone else, then the problem is my fault, not yours. When I decide which contract I'm going to violate, I am fully on the hook for the consequences of nonperformance. You are blameless, and if I break the contract with you, then I should be paying you compensation for the damages you incurred.

            2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: Convention contracts

              StheD & Cirby, thanks for the replies. I am not l lawyer, and have had no dealings with event bookings from either side, so would have to bow to your experience.

              However, as a layman, I'd have thought JohnFen was spot on. If the restaurant aren't privvy to the details of hotel contracts that can effect bookings they are allowed to make, then they damn well should be.

              If the restaurant then makes a booking, and - as in this case - it turns out they shouldn't have, how can IGEL be to blame?

              As I see it, when the events unfolded, they should have continued to honour their contract with IGEL, leaving vmware to demand compensation from the hotel for any failure to provide what was contracted.

              I see it as the hotel totally screwing up here (after all, it's them that forced the restaurants actions) - they should have sucked it up, and dealt with any fallout that occurred. Kicking IGEL out mid-flow like that is just not on. - It makes IGEL out to be some sort of unreliable company that can't organise an event, and/or isn't a reliable payer. I think they are therefore fully justified to sue for losses, and damages to their reputation.

              I certainly wouldn't now trust this venue to hold any event I was responsible for.

              1. StheD

                Re: Convention contracts

                In an ideal world, I'd agree with you, but restaurants probably aren't tuned into this stuff. Now, if the hotel catering department handled it, I'd be less forgiving, since they are more directly connected to trade shows.

                And it definitely could have been handled better.

                1. heyrick Silver badge

                  Re: Convention contracts

                  "but restaurants probably aren't tuned into this stuff"

                  Really? They appear to have been pretty damn tuned when the employees started tearing down the signage...

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Convention contracts

      That's as may be, but isn't it the venue's responsibility to let clients know the restrictions, and to avoid entering into contracts that they know damn well they can't fulfill?

      The responsibility for this fiasco is entirely on the venue, not on IGEL. I think this lawsuit is very justified.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Convention contracts

      Been to more conferences than I care to recall at the Mandalay Bay, and walked past the Border Grill many times. I think the issue here is that IGEL's stands/posters weren't *in* the Border Grill - looks from the picture like they were stood up in the walkway past it .... which is the property of the Mandalay Bay. Hence the event inside the Border Grill was allowed to go ahead, but MGM took exception to the promo material in the corridor (because VMware's conference contract probably gave them branding rights to the public areas around the Mandalay Bay).

  9. Tim Jenkins

    So Sad

    A tragic stain on the otherwise impeccable reputation of that particular city for high moral and ethical standards in all things...

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: So Sad

      Kinda, sorta forgot the Joke icon.... Oh, wait!

  10. Monty Cantsin
    Holmes

    Elementary...

    It seems that Disrupt was disrupted.

    1. all ears

      Re: Elementary...

      Pun already in article. Double demerit, for obviousness and plagiarism...

  11. SamX

    IGEL must be grateful to VMWare

    They wouldn't have got so much publicity like this without VMware's best effort :)

  12. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    VMWare needs to calm down about this stuff

    IGEL is not really a competitor of VMware's, though it is one for Dell. IGEL decided to ride on VMWare's coattails a bit, by hosting their own event on the side of VMWare's expo. So VMWare got pissy and had the hotel do their dirty work for them and shut down the event.

    Yes, it kind of sucks for VMWare that other tech companies are doing stuff like this, but you have to realize that this is a mark of how successful VMWare is. IGEL is running their event to capitalize on all the people that come to Vegas for VMWare's event. If there is a an event like this that happens at conference hotels, and that violates VMWare's agreements with those properties, then VMWare needs to handle that with the hotel, not with the other tech company and tech industry professionals that are at the competing event. Now VMWare comes across looking like the Gestapo, and Mandalay Bay and the restaurant look like their flunkies.

    And all these IGEL VIP customers--how many of them do you think are also VMWare customers, who were in Vegas at least largely to see VMWare's offerings? What do you think their opinion is of VMWare now? I'd be kind of mortified and pissed off if I was a tech professional at mid-lunch/preso and a bunch of guys came in and cleared me out. Obviously, anyone with two or more working brain cells can figure out that it was VMWare who was behind the thuggery. Now, they are going to associate that behavior with VMWare, whose expo they also came to see.

    And VMWare has to be smart enough to realize that if they have their own contracts/agreements/etc. in place when they plan their event, then anyone else who is putting on an event with the amount of preparation that IGEL obviously had in place would also have their own contracts in place to facilitate all that preparation. Now, VMWare may end up being a "deep pocket" in this lawsuit, for forcing/encouraging Mandalay Bay to violate the contracts that were in place with IGEL.

    In short, bad move VMWare. You get to come across as looking insecure and tyrannical. And the people you do this in front of are a group of tech execs who are either your customers or are prospects that are interested enough in your offerings that they will spend their time and money to come all the way to Vegas to see your own show! And you potentially end up getting named in IGEL's lawsuit, for tortious interference in getting Mandalay Bay to break up IGEL's party. For the record, stuff like this doesn't make IGEL look bad. They obviously had a lot of professional signage, presentations and catering in place to attract and engage their audience. Instead, it makes VMWare look bad for breaking all that up in front of a group of current/potential customers! Idiotic would not be too strong a word to apply to VMWare's behavior in this situation.

    Now, maybe VMWare had language in place with Mandalay Bay to prevent something like this from happening, and IGEL's event somehow slipped under the radar. If that is what happened, then VMWare needs to deal directly with Mandalay Bay on that and make sure it does not involve IGEL and voiding the contracts it has in place, plus embarrassing a bunch of tech professionals who are most likely VMWare's own customers/prospects! And if VMWare didn't have the appropriate contractual language in place, then the correct approach is to note that and change that in the future, and not immediately get all pissy that someone else is capitalizing on the concentration of tech professionals that VMWare's event is pulling together.

  13. NanoMeter

    That's the kind of behaviour you would expect from the Mafia.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Well, modern Las Vegas was actually created by the Mafia, read who were the builders of the Flamingo Hotel...

      1. jmch Silver badge

        "modern Las Vegas was actually created by the Mafia, read who were the builders of the Flamingo Hotel."

        or just watch The Godfather :)

  14. Jamesit

    What a great way to make sure nobody books any more events at properties owned by MGM.

    A great way to Disrupt an event!!

  15. John Savard Silver badge

    They interfered with items that were the property of the organizers of the Disrupt event? There should be criminal charges as well. And the lawsuit should be dealt with in such a way that no hotel, acrossthe length or breadth of the United States, will dare, at least for the next three hundred years or so, to behave in a similar manner.

    How about just handing over the entire equity and assets of MGM to the event organizers? That should be a sufficient deterrent.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MacVirtualizer

    Hmmm. Think I'll be looking at the switcher offer from Parallels for the next upgrade cycle. (Not that Parallels is a paragon. But they're not in this class.)

  17. gbshore

    This is absolutely unacceptable. This show of be made right and it should be done in public and not behind closed doors...

  18. Steve 114

    Disrupt Disrupted

    Why did they choose to call it 'Disrupt'? How surprised were they to find themselves disrupted? 'Hoist' and 'Petard' comes to mind.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell Contract Canceled

    As the CTO of a large corporation, I was one of those who was shuffled out of the restaurant. After meeting with the board, coming Tuesday, I am going to call the CEO of Dell Computer and tell him that he has lost our USD $30,000,000 contract, effective immediately. I will also tell him that we made the decision to switch over to a IGEL/Citirx setup as well. I will also explain why.

    1. skeptical i
      Pint

      Re: Dell Contract Canceled

      See icon, please.

  20. CppThis

    I don't fault VMware/Dell for thugging it up, really. I used to attend CES regularly, but the outboarding has gotten so bad that it's just not worth it anymore. 95% of the product launches and events that get massive press coverage have nothing to with the show itself, they're all at offsite venues with a wall of bouncers to ensure that access is limited to a hand-picked list of tame media mouthpieces pledged to say and do exactly what the marketing department tells them. Those who've been around will likely remember that it's the same set of bad actors that did it to Comdex, too.

    Quite a shame, because I rather like Las Vegas. A more magnificent temple to man-as-god I've yet to see.

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