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Open Source Business Conference

Producer: Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), a joint venture of IDG World Expo, Framingham, Mass., and the Genus Group, Salt Lake City

What: The OSBC is an educational forum for IT buyers and vendors, lawyers and venture capitalists focusing on opportunities and challenges that open source technology presents.

Dates: April 5-6, 2005

Dates last year: March 16-17, 2004

Where: Westin St. Francis, San Francisco

No. of attendees: 661

No. of attendees in 2004: 590

No. of sponsors: 23

No. of sponsors in 2004: 18

Producer comment: "The reason it was so successful is that all the people in the industry came together," said Warwick Davies, group VP at IDG World Expo. "Considering it was developed from an idea that there’s a gap in the open source market for how to make money, it’s pretty amazing to go from zero to 590 [attendees in the first show] on the basis of an idea. "[The event last year] was very successful and this year continues the trend. ... We’re looking at the potential of doing this in Europe, although that’s probably further down the line."

Sponsor comment: "We’ve been spending time and effort in increasing visibility in the Linux arena and open source," said Bruce Lowry, director of public relations at Novell. "It marries the focus on enterprise, which is our history, plus open source. Up until OSBC, most of the Linux and open source conferences have been pretty technical. This was the first one to address open source from a business angle. We needed to start addressing the challenges and opportunities that open source presented."

Breakdown: OSBC LLP announced it would debut OSBCLegal in Seattle on Sept. 7, focusing on legal issues around open source software. Another general show is set for Nov. 1-2 in Boston focusing on innovation and security. The company’s plan is to hold two OSBC shows a year and add workshops such as OSBCLegal.

—Carol Krol

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