NetApp cancels user conference, blames economy

In another sign of how far-reaching the economic downturn has become, NetApp on Monday said it plans to cancel its user conference scheduled for February next year.

While the company had more customer interest than expected, according to NetApp, customers were saying that their travel budgets were being cut and they were unable to commit to attend because of the economic uncertainty.

The event, scheduled to happen at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, would have been NetApp's first annual user conference, perhaps making it more vulnerable than an established event where attendees could count on its value.

Early next year, NetApp plans to publish some of the technical content it had developed for the conference.

As recently as Oct. 15, NetApp was posting information on a about topics it planned to cover during the event. The final post described one planned session called "stop the pain of MS Exchange backup and recovery" that would offer tips on using NetApp's SnapManager to add storage without taking Exchange offline.

NetApp may also have figured that canceling the event could save it money compared with holding an event with low attendance. However, it's unclear how much it might still lose upon cancelling the conference, which was to have included events such as a concert by the band Barenaked Ladies.