Tale of Two Summits: HTG Proceeds, SMB Technology Network Postpones

The economy continues to shake up the face-to-face conference world. A case in point: Two separate organizations -- HTG Peer Groups and SMB Technology Network -- scheduled somewhat competing conferences within weeks of one another in Irving, Texas. While HTG Peer Groups is moving forward with its event, SMB Technology Network has postponed (i.e., canceled) its event. Here's the update.

Two idems of disclosure:

  • I am scheduled to moderate two panels at the HTG Peer Groups event, scheduled for Apri 20-24. That event is moving forward.
  • This past weekend, I was deciding whether or not to attend the SMB Technology Networks' SMB Summit, which had been scheduled for May 14-17. But on April 11 conference organizers announced the SMB Summit has been postponed "due to circumstances beyond our control, including the current economic situation."
Ironically, the events were being hosted at the same hotel less than a month from one another.

But here's the bigger irony. HTG Peer Groups scheduled its conference the same week as the RSA security conference. The RSA conference is one of the most popular IT events, and security remains a hot topic for managed service providers and the broader IT industry.

So, HTG's ability to pull off an event the same week as RSA suggests the following: HTG Peer Group attendees see value in the event. And security vendors -- already slammed with the RSA event -- are still heading to HTG as well. We'll see whether HTG Peer Groups members turn out in full force for the HTG event starting April 20.

Longer term, I plan to attend SMB Nation's Spring '09 event (May 1-3, New Jersey) to get a better feel for the health of the SMB IT sector.

There seems to be a flood of SMB-focused events in the market. Some will go away because of the recession. Others will need to reinvent themselves for particular vertical market and technology niches.

If you're aware of an SMB event I overlooked, feel free to post a comment with the event name, date and location.

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