HPE Tech Conferences…. Where to Begin?

Last year I went to HPE Discover conference in Las Vegas and this year I went HPE Aspire conference in Orlando. In today’s world of shrinking IT budgets and shifting priorities, cutting company sponsored travel is generally one of the first ideas.

So how do you convince your boss to go? and/or why should you go? Conferences at face value are a vendor or many vendors trying to sell you stuff. Is it really worth the time?

The short answer is Yes you should go to IT Conventions.

Before I go into why you should go, let’s define the 2 events Discover and Aspire.

  • HPE Aspire
    • Traditionally in Nashville during the month of May
      • This year was an exception.
    • HPE and Technology Partners (Microsoft, VMWare etc,) host 3.5 days of sessions that you can attend.
    • Aspire is only open to HPE Employees, Partners, and Vendors.
    • Smaller than discover.
    • For attending Aspire you get 2 protectored exam vouchers and a web exam voucher that can only be used during the convention.
  • HPE Discover
    • Traditionally in Las Vegas in June.
    • HPE and Technology Partners (Microsoft, VMWare etc,) host 4 days of sessions that you can attend.
    • Discover is only open to everyone.
    • Much larger than Aspire.
    • For attending Discover, you get 2 protectored exam vouchers and a web exam voucher that can only be used during the convention.

So if you don’t work for HPE or a Partner, that rules out Aspire. Besides that detail the other bigger detail if you qualify to go to both. Discover has the instructor led classes included with the admission to discover. So if you’re looking for to get training and information Discover is your ticket.

Aspire has some hands on labs in the sessions. but there is no matrix of X number sessions = X training class. Aspire is great for big picture information/training. You can go and how all the technology platforms work together to create solutions rather than just categorical items.

Now that I went over the high level differences. How do you convince your boss?

  • Training
    • If you plan it correctly you can cram in more HPE training in 4 days for less money (including airfare and hotel)
  • Insight
    • Besides seeing the presentation on pick your topic before it’s released on the internet. Then either after the showcase or during a smaller session you can ask your questions, voice your complains, and dive deeper with the leaders in their in respective topic.
  • Networking
    • HPE, VMWare, Microsoft are giant companies. It’s hard to get to access to the people needed for the complex solutions. Going to these sessions you get to access to right people or atleast a shortcut to the right people.

I’m not saying you have to go to every convention every year. but gage your workflow, technology lifecycles, vendors, and see where it makes sense. Paying for a convention has the potential to give you more information and access in 3-4 days then starting from scratch on the internet.


P.S I’m not saying this is guaranteed but it’s worked out for me multiple times for HPE. If you do a large refresh ($100K+) leading up to discover they will usually kick you a couple of passes to discover for free. So then it’s it’s just airfare and hotel (group rate).