Oracle users have cancelled their user conference - with one month's notice and no explanation.

EOUC2007, The EMEA Oracle Usergroup Council (EOUC) event, was to have given users a chance to hear about new product developments from Oracle staff, and to meet other organisations using Oracle, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel software.
It was scheduled for May 3 and 4 at the RAI conference center in Amsterdam.

Poor attendance may have been to blame for the cancellation, said a spokeswoman for the Association of French-speaking Oracle Users, AUFO, one of the member organisations of EOUC. "Very few people had registered, and with only one month to go, they preferred to cancel the event," said Sylvie Combet.

Around 50 members of AUFO were signed up to attend the Amsterdam conference, far fewer than French organisation's own event on March 21, which attracted 200 participants, she said.

National Oracle user groups received no warning of the cancellation, announced in a short email Wednesday afternoon. The same message was posted to the event site on Thursday.

"It came as a surprise," said James Haslam, general manager of the UK Oracle User Group.

It was a bigger surprise for Summit, the Dutch company handling registrations for the event, however - staff there were still taking reservations on Thursday morning, unaware that the conference had been cancelled. According to Summit's web site, bookings for the two-day conference can still be made at a special price of €600 (US$800) excluding tax through April 19, and €700 after that date.

Three representatives of EOUC contacted for this story declined to comment, saying that all communication would be made via the event web site.

At the UK Oracle User Group, Haslam said he had no idea why the conference had been cancelled, but speculated that users preferred to attend events nearer home. The UK group's own event, held in Birmingham, England, in November, attracted 2,600 participants. The group bills it as the largest Oracle exhibition in Europe.