There was never much doubt that attendance at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) would be down in New Orleans 2009 compared with Houston 2008.
Microsoft officials rejected the recession-inspired outright cancellation option that many other companies have chosen for their conferences this year. Microsoft hustled to open registration for WPC several weeks early this year and held registration open right up until last week. In previous years, the conference sold out long before the start.
The moment of truth came Monday morning, when Microsoft posted its WPC attendance. Like the U.S. housing market, WPC is back at 2003 levels. The official number for partners in attendance is 5,500. That's the same number of partner attendees as 2003 -- coincidentally, also in New Orleans.
The last two years, in Denver and Houston, Microsoft had about 7,000 partner attendees.
In all, there are 7,700 attendees this year because Microsoft brought 2,207 employees to New Orleans for the show. Microsoft is also saying attendees are here from 115 countries, down a little from the 130 countries represented in 2008.
So, probably a little less energy on the floor this year, but a great ratio of partners to Microsofties for 1:1 interactions.
Posted by Scott Bekker on July 13, 2009 at 11:58 AM
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