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Europeans see the future of HP's invite-only technology conferences

If you are wondering what the Hewlett-Packard plans are for the future of the in-person conference, you can look no further today than the Realise the Future HP Technology@Work 2010 event next month in Frankfurt, Germany. The April 27-29 event is by invitation only, sponsored by some of HP's biggest vendor partners: Oracle, Intel, Citrix, Microsoft, VMWare and more. One of the Silver Sponsors is HP enterprise user group Connect.

A conference controlled entirely by HP, Technology@Work will include 22 talks with the word "Integrity" in their title. This is a view of HP's future enterprise and work computer planning, considering that there are 174 sessions scheduled across three days of talks. HP isn't shaping its view of the future around servers or environments. Probably not news to the large-scale HP customer, but this approach might surprise the HP 3000 pro who's continuing with HP beyond a migration.

Rather than organization around environment, HP has shaped its Technology@Work briefings around tracks such as Cloud, Virtualization, Sustainable IT (energy efficiency), Innovation and Elasticity/Converged Infrastructure. There is a track on Industry Standard Servers (the HP ProLiant line, not Integrity) and Storage Solutions. But the days of understanding systems as an edge in business computing are over, by the looks of HP's conference lineup.

HP is calling it the most significant technology event of 2010.

WE WOULD ADVISE Euro customers, or any who will be in Germany next month, to attend and catch up with HP's visions. But you should have already been invited if HP wants you to be on hand.

We’re inviting: CIOs, IT Directors and Heads of Department, IT and Technical Managers, Solutions Architects and Data Centre Managers, amongst other professionals who have been tasked to use technology to make a difference to their organisations.

It’s a select group of people, and you can take the opportunity to share your experience, learn from others, and network to your advantage. You’ll also get to talk to analysts from one of the world’s foremost research and forecasting companies.

That would be Gartner's Research Senior VP Peter Sondergaard, giving a keynote while Gartner leads some breakout sessions. Connect, while being one of the event's sponsors, mounts a more egalitarian event this June in the HP Technology Forum. While a significant share of the Tech Forum is out of bounds to the press or companies which can't pass through a Confidential Disclosure Agreement, or won't qualify for HP staff product training, the event is open to the full customer base.

HP has been developing a different approach to meeting their customers in person ever since the company acquired Compaq near the start of last decade. Customers want HP to be frank and answer hard questions with specifics -- that much has not changed in more than three decades of HP 3000 history. By 2010, however, HP has become most comfortable with selecting who's asking the questions, and who will be listening to the replies.

Technology@Work is bound to be useful for the CIO or top-level manager using HP equipment in their company, and a modest share of the 3000 community will be getting invited to this event. But they probably can't say they're going, or repeat much of what they learn outside their own organization once they return.