Hurricane Forces HP to Postpone New Orleans Show

The HP Technology Forum, originally scheduled to begin Sept. 12 in New Orleans, will be rescheduled for later in the fall.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and one of its user groups, Encompass, are postponing HPs upcoming technology conference scheduled for later this month in New Orleans in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

In an e-mail sent out late Tuesday to participants, HP said it will reschedule the HP Technology Forum for another date later in the fall. It was scheduled to run Sept. 12 through 15.

The company hopes to announce new conference details by Sept. 9.

/zimages/1/28571.gifHurricane Katrina highlighted the greater risk small- and medium-sized businesses face compared with their larger counterparts. Click here to read more.

HP Technology Forum was to be the first show co-hosted by HP. In the past, user groups such as Encompass and Interex hosted their own HP-focused shows. Last year HP officials announced their intentions to host their own shows and tried to get the major user groups to back them.

Encompass agreed, but the 31-year-old Interex, with about 100,000 members, said it was going to continue with its own HP World show. Originally scheduled for last month in San Francisco, Interex at the last minute canceled the show and said it was disbanding.

HP President and CEO Mark Hurd was scheduled to give the opening keynote at the HP Technology Forum.

Katrina was a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall just east of New Orleans Monday morning. The city was slammed with high winds and flooding during the storm, but officials said they felt they had been spared the worst of it.

However, conditions got worse in the city on Tuesday when several sections of the levees protecting the city gave way, allowing water from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain to rush into New Orleans. Officials said about 80 percent of the city was flooded and ordered the evacuation of all remaining residents—including the thousands stranded in the Superdome—within the next few days.

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