The iSeries Blog

Mar 12 2009   3:28AM GMT

Will there be lower turnout at System i conferences this year?

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

With Common holding its annual meeting in Reno next month, now is as good a time to examine the world of conferences, and how the economy has affected attendance.

Over the past two weeks I have been at two conferences. Though they were both unrelated to the IBM System i (one was for the Share mainframe user group and the other for AFCOM data center managers), it was a good indication that conference attendance is low. Expect the same at Common in Reno.

The Young i Professionals conducted a survey from its users on educational budgets this year, and the effect is clear. Though the sample size is very small (only about 70 users at this time), it’s still a decent indicator. According to the survey, almost 40% of people said that the current economy has caused all education spending within companies to come to halt. Another 26% said education spending has been cut. The rest of the numbers: about 16% said no change, 16% said it’s too soon to tell, and 3% said it’s increasing.

This is not a good sign, said the folks over at iDevelop, who said that stopping educational spending was “downright stupid.”

Admittedly when the economic climate is bad expenses have to be cut, but as we have noted before, this always strikes us as not only short-sighted, but frankly just downright stupid! Particularly when you take into account the fact that job satisfaction, loyalty and productivity is invariably higher among staff who are given adequate training opportunities.

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