Send your HP messages today
A retirement, or a death?

HP offers conference alternative

Interex has brokered a deal with HP to let the vendor make good on the user group's conference promises. A notice posted Tuesday on the Interex Web site front page offers a free registration to the HP Technical Forum conference for anyone who's left holding the bag on a paid registration to HP World. (Tip of the hat to Gavin Scott for pointing out this development.)

What's more, HP will offer discounted booth space to the HP World exhibitors who got caught holding worthless receipts for booth space at the now-defunct Interex show.

HP will offer a complimentary, comparable registration to the 2005 HP Technology Forum for paid, registered attendees of HP World 2005. Additionally, HP will offer discounted exhibition space at the 2005 HP Technology Forum to non-HP competitors exhibiting at or sponsoring HP World 2005. HP World participants can get obtain additional information by calling (877) 216-5400, email [email protected], or by visiting

HP's show is scheduled for Sept. 12-15 in New Orleans.

The above Web page gives registrants and exhibitors the details on how to redeem their Interex booth space and conference registrations. HP is looking a tiny bit more noble in offering to help Interex with its disgruntled customers. Still, you gotta wonder if Interex would even be closing its doors if HP had not scheduled its own new technical show one month after HP World.

Competition looks to have done in the user group. Now HP has a clear field to mount its show, as well as the good will of rescuing Interex's customers and vendors.

Not all vendors need apply for those HP Technical Forum spaces, however. HP competitors will not be admitted to the HP Technical Forum, a policy that says a lot about what kind of conference and expo the vendor will be hosting in New Orleans. Interex was not eager to put HP's competitors onto the HP World show floor, but it didn't flatly shut them out, either.

So the question before the HP World registrant is this: How much can I accomplish at a vendor-run conference? HP is partnering with Encompass, the user group made up of Compaq and Digital users, to mount its New Orleans show. Encompass chose to work with HP, instead of maintain its own conference.