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“Registrations for BrainShare have Been Very Low to This Point”

Posted in Mail, Novell, Videos at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The love that used to be

Brainy people

Brainwash, also known as marketing, annually comes from BrainShare, whose cancellation is a big blow to Novell. Apple knows the feeling.

So, BrainShare is over. We wrote about this some days ago, but here are some more important details.

Kim Groneman, an administrator of the Novell Forums, writing to break the news on the BrainShare forum to prospective attendees (making it very clear that he is not an official spokesman, but simply a Novell employee and an interested party) observed that “registrations for BrainShare have been very low to this point.”

IDG cites Novell’s poor financial performance.

The tough economy hasn’t helped Novell’s financial numbers of late either. The company continues to lose money, reporting earlier this month a $16 million loss for its fourth fiscal quarter on roughly flat revenue. For the fiscal year, ended Oct. 31, Novell lost about $18 million on revenue of just under $1 billion. Making apples-to-apples comparisons of Novell financial results quarter to quarter has become next to impossible given a variety of “impairment charges” and other clarifications included in its reports.

SJVN covered this in IDG as well.

Here is a copy of the official letter which contains spin (it did, after all, come from a marketing chief).

In an open email to Novell’s customers and partners, the company has canceled the event originally slated for March of next year, namely what would have been the 20th annual BrainShare conference.

From the local press:

Novell Inc. said Wednesday it has canceled its 2009 BrainShare, the annual conference that this year drew 5,500 to the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.

The Waltham, Mass.- based company, whose largest operation is in Provo with about 1,200 employees, said many of its customers were saying economic conditions would keep them from traveling to Utah in March of next year.

This was also covered by some big(ger) press outlets like Fox Utah and Desert News

Novell is considering delivering conference materials online or conducting smaller, more-regional events “that will allow us to get face time with folks but would be more locally based so that, again, we’d get around some of the travel restrictions that our customers and partners have,” Bruce said.


The Massachusetts-based company, with about 1,200 of its 4,000 employees in Provo, develops enterprise infrastructure software for companies.

Additionally, this is covered in:

Linux Journal: Novell Boxes Up Twenty Years of BrainShare

For the past twenty years, one of the jewels of the Novell calendar has been the annual BrainShare conference. Highlights have included, among many others, 2004′s surprise appearance by Linux-creator Linus Torvalds — reportedly also attended by SCO arch-villan Darl McBride — and the 2008 revelation that Big Bird was switching to SUSE. It seems those memories are all that will remain of the conference, however, as Novell announced this morning that the conference has been canceled.

The Register: Novell ditches 2009′s recession-bitten BrainShare tradeshow

Instead it was at pains to point out that partners and customers can still get their mitts on training and so-called “enablement offerings” through online classes, virtual conferences and local tours.

CNET: Novell cancels its 2009 BrainShare conference

What the FAQ doesn’t state is how much Dragoon was probably pleased to free up a significant chunk of his marketing budget tied up in the annual conference. He won’t state it publicly, but I’m betting that he’s cheering to have so much of his marketing budget available for other activities.

ZDNet: Credit crunch claims Novell conference

Novell’s BrainShare conference, which was scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City in March, has been cancelled.

Boston Globe: Novell cancels trade show

Novell Inc., the Linux software vendor in Waltham, has cancelled its annual BrainShare trade show, which was set for March 2009.

BrainShare, which has been held in Salt Lake City, Utah, for more than 20 years, generally attracts between 4,000 and 6,000 attendees from nearly 60 countries.

From Associated Press:

This is not the end of the world, however. GWAVA goes ahead with its plans and issues this press release:

GWAVA Provides Alternative to Novell BrainShare Attendees

Discount offered for Novell customers to attend GWAVACon, the independent Novell technology conference in place of BrainShare ’09

GWAVA today announced a special discount for Novell customers to GWAVACon in Las Vegas Nevada, January 25th – 27th 2009. With the announcement of Novell suspending BrainShare in March of 2009, GWAVACon becomes the largest Novell technology conference in the world.

Richard Bliss of GWAVA is already pimping his own event (that he organises) in the comments section of Microsoft Jack’s [1, 2, 3] blog post about the cancellation. This cancellation was also covered by Slashdot (front page), which Microsoft Jack hates so vehemently.

Richard Bliss has also pushed this promotional video into YouTube.

Ogg Theora

So Novell’s events may not be vanishing; but like the company itself, they are shrinking (downsizing).

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