July 18, 2005 2:33 PM PDT

Hewlett-Packard trade show canceled

HP World, an industry trade conference that focuses on Hewlett-Packard and its partners, has been canceled.

The show was scheduled to run between Aug. 14 and Aug. 18 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Sponsoring companies and keynote speakers were contacted by show organizers by e-mail during the weekend to inform them of the news.

Interex, the company that has managed the show for the past 10 years, is apparently pulling the plug because the company is preparing for bankruptcy and has decided not to compete with similar conference shows that HP itself is producing, according to a source who asked to not be identified.

"We regret to inform you that due to financial and other reasons Interex has had to close its doors. As a result the HP World Conference and Expo has been cancelled. We do appreciate your commitment to attending this conference and do apologize for this unfortunate turn of events," the e-mail from Interex said.

Repeated calls to Interex for comment about the bankruptcy issues were not returned.

The show cancellation comes as HP is expected to announce layoffs of about 15,000 employees. Officials worked during the weekend to finalize the details of the layoffs, according to a source close to the company.

Scheduled speakers for HP World included HP Executive Vice President Ann Livermore, whose department is expected to receive the brunt of the pink slips. "Dilbert" comic strip creator Scott Adams was also scheduled to speak.

HP itself has been trying to combine several of the technology forums and conferences during the past few years in hopes of unifying three major HP user groups. Interex has apparently been resistant to the change.

For the past 10 years, HP World has attracted an average of 7,000 attendees, according to Interex's Web site. The last HP World to visit San Francisco drew a record 13,500 IT professionals.

 

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