IBM has announced that it has combined the annual Australian conferences for all four of its software divisions into one larger event, called IBM Software Universe. Replacing Lotus Fusion, Planet Tivoli, and the user group shows for both IBM DB2 and WebSphere, Software Universe will run from July 1-4 at the Sydney Convention Centre and will include presentations from top executives from each software pillar. More importantly, there will be 109 exhibits, 55 put together by IBM channel partners and the rest put together by IBM's eight vendor partner sponsors. An exhibit at the event costs an IBM partner $5,494.50 including GST, which IBM Software marketing director Michelle Penna claims to be very affordable and cost-effective. While it is difficult to estimate how many end users will book tickets to the event, Penna claims there should be at least 1,000 punters for IBM's channel partners to target.