NetApp said yesterday it has canceled its first user conference, NetApp Accelerate, in response to customer feedback about increasing restrictions on corporate travel. The conference was to be held Feb. 23-26, 2009, at Moscone West in San Francisco. NetApp had expected about 3,000 attendees.
I wouldn't be surprised if more events like this are canceled. Many companies are revisiting travel, marketing and entertainment budgets in an effort to keep ahead of an increasingly souring U.S. economy. It is noteworthy that attendance was down earlier this month at Data Center World in Orlando, Fla., and at Storage Networking World in Dallas.
Nobody from the company or NetApp's PR agency wanted to talk about the development earlier today. Guess I don't blame them; user conferences are a major part of a company's outreach and marketing functions, and to have the first one tank in this manner is unfortunate, indeed.
You can go here for more details.