Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My thoughts on CCE 2008

I've just finished attending CCE 2008 which was Connect's first european event. I'll put it quickly: it didn't work. That's not because the organizers, the sponsors and HP didn't try. My hat goes up to them, they did the best they could. The conference itself was OK, without all the extravaganza of HPTF and that's fine since being a tie-less techie, I'm always there for the technical agenda.

But the economic downturn, combined with a lack of "community spirit" from my HP-UX and VMS counterparts basically made this a low attendance NonStop event. The sessions that were not NonStop-related got few attendees from the first day, to the dismay of HP executives. And that's really a shame because there were some excellent sessions and labs.

Someone asked at the QA panel what Connect thought of this. Nina Buik was frank: many delegates cancelled due to travelling budgets being restrained, so attendance figures got lower than expected. One thing's for sure, there won't be a CCE 2009, Connect will concentrate more on local events the next time. And I'm not making anything up, this comes from Buik herself.

That's assuming, of course that Connect's finances can recover. The event attracted around 500-550 people, they were expecting 800, so they're 35% under their initial hopes. Then I've heard about the number of actual customers who attended the event, which I won't disclose here, but I can say that it was far from stellar.

It's too bad to see an event with so much potential having been met with coldness by HP customers (except the NonStop guys, of course). But times got hard quickly in 2008 and Connect was hit by this uncontrollable circumstance.


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