US ATTACK: Many US trade shows postponed

In the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and near Washington, D.C., most IT industry trade shows scheduled to take place this month were postponed in the U.S., but most shows abroad are set to continue.

At least two shows which were already under way when the attacks took place made attempts to continue, albeit with a smaller attendance. Networld+Interop, in Atlanta, attempted to continue as scheduled, but many companies, including Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp. and AT&T Corp., left the conference early. Organizers also canceled Tuesday's scheduled keynote speeches. Likewise, the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association) conference in San Diego, attempted to continue, but all keynotes were canceled following the attacks. While many attendees left early, others couldn't get to the event following the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounding of all flights.

Organizers canceled the Personal Communications Industry Association's (PCIA) GlobalXChange 2001 conference when the convention center in Los Angeles, where the event was to take place, was shut down. PCIA staff also moved from hotels in the city's dense downtown into hotels in neighboring areas. Organizers of many trade shows scheduled for upcoming weeks have postponed the events. As of Thursday afternoon, several conferences were postponed indefinitely. Rambus Inc.'s developer forum, which was scheduled for Sept. 20 and 21 in Santa Clara, California, was postponed indefinitely.

Communications convergence conference CommVerge Expo, which was also scheduled for Santa Clara from Sept. 19-21 was postponed, according to the conference Web site. Organizers are working to find a date "for the early part of next year," according to the Web site.

Forrester Research Inc. also postponed its Marketing Forum, which was scheduled to take place near New York's Times Square, Sept. 23-25, the company said in a statement. Forrester will post information about rescheduling on its Web site.

Marcus Evans Ltd.'s Advanced Networking Solutions Latin America conference, which was scheduled for Miami from Wednesday through Friday, was also postponed, according to information on the company's Web site.

Wireless World 2001 was set for Sept. 24 and 25 at the World Trade Center, which was destroyed by Tuesday's attacks. Organizers have postponed the show and are seeking a new venue, according to the conference Web site. "Unfortunately at the moment we cannot announce the date, time and place of Wireless World 2001 but it will happen, make no mistake of that, and it will be dedicated to the innocent victims of this horrendous tragedy," reads a message from the organizers of the event.

Macromedia Inc., which had planned to hold its Macromedia Web World conference in San Francisco next week, also postponed its conference until a later date. The company has also delayed its joint announcement with Microsoft Corp., which was to be made at the show. The announcement has been rescheduled for the week of Sept. 24, the company said Thursday in an e-mail to attendees.

In San Francisco, Key3Media Events Inc. still plans to have its Seybold San Francisco 2001 show, the company said. The publishing show is still scheduled for Sept. 24-28.

As of Thursday afternoon, most European shows planned to continue as scheduled, according to information on conference Web sites. International Data Corp.'s IDC European IT Forum will be next week in Monaco. Carly Fiorina, chief executive officer (CEO) of Hewlett-Packard Co., Michael Capellas, CEO of Compaq Computer Corp., and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Inc. are slated to give keynotes.

The International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) is still scheduled to start in Amsterdam Friday, according to the conference's Web site. But organizers anticipate that some attendees and vendors may have difficulties getting to the show.

"By now you all know the consequential disruption to air transport services and some of you are now directly affected. A few may not exhibit, some booths may not be totally completed and some may not be staffed as originally planned. The disruption to transport will also affect visitors," reads a message posted on the Web site.

Other conferences, including the Asian IT Expo in Hong Kong, and IDC's Storage Conference 2001 in London did not have any information relating to the disasters on their Web sites, and the organizers could not be reached immediately.

Apple Computer Inc. is scheduled to have its Apple Expo conference in Paris from Sept. 26-30. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on whether the show will be canceled.

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