Next month's HP World cancelled

One conference too many?

HP World, the major systems conference for Hewlett-Packard that has in the past drawn thousands of enterprise customers, has been cancelled, according to the conference co-chair and the vice chairman of the sponsoring user group, Interex. The conference was scheduled to take place on August 14–18 in San Francisco.

Conference co-chair Greg Cagle notified HP users on a company mailing list for HP 3000 customers late Sunday night of the decision, and he confirmed his note yesterday. He says Interex laid off its staff late last week and believes the best thing to do was to alert HP users. "It has been cancelled," he says of the event.

Denys Beauchemin, the vice chairman of Interex's board, also confirmed the news. He says he can't discuss the reasons and suggested that those interested in the event and why it was cancelled should keep an eye out for news on the Interex website. "Right now there are some legal things that we have to go through," he says.

Officials at Interex, which has approximately 100,000 members, couldn't be reached. There is nothing on the HP World website this morning indicating any changes, although the Interex website was updated overnight.

Cagle, a conference volunteer, says he doesn't know all the reasons for the cancellation, but believes HP's decision to hold a conference in September was a likely factor. "Let's face it: you had two competing conferences."

The loss of HP World isn't a good thing for the company's users, says Cagle. "HP World was more of a user-focused conference," he says. "It's a loss."

HP last year announced plans to hold a its own technical conference.

HP World, like most user group conferences, has seen a decline in attendance since 2000, when 12,000 people attended the conference. In recent years the number of attendees has been about half that size.

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