What was once arguably Australia’s largest IT conference, DiData Forum, has been consigned forever to the annals of history by organiser Dimension Data.
Merle Singer, marketing manager at Dimension Data, said in a letter emailed to iTnews today that the system integrator had decided to retire its annual industry conference, after extensive consultation with clients, partners and key sponsors.
Forum has been held every year since 1991, except for 2001 and 2004 -- when DiData postponed for another year, citing a rethink.
“We talked about the relevance and its value to delegates, key sponsors and Dimension Data. It has become clear that priorities and needs have shifted,” Singer wrote.
Martin Aungle, corporate communications manager at Dimension Data, said Forum had had its time. “We feel our business model no longer reflects the format of that event.”
Dimension Data no longer specialised in “big bang projects” for customers. The integrator would retarget its marketing budget at a series of smaller, more focused events, he said.
“There’ll be no change to the budget. The nice thing is we’ll be more flexible,” Aungle said.
About 800 executives, analysts, news media and DiData staff attended Forum 12, which boasted vendor-sponsored gala dinners and performances from Jimmy Barnes and Vanessa Amorosi spread over five days at Coolum, Queensland.
Ian Yates, a reseller based on NSW’s North Coast, said he had been to 10 DiData Forums. The event had metamorphosed over the years from a hardcore geek-fest into a strategy-based corporate conference, he said.
Yates said delegates had paid just over $4000 to attend and the organisers had to contribute “the same amount again” to make the event happen.
“To take up the networking equipment [for the showcases], they had to charter a plane,” he said. “It was bigger than Ben Hur.”