Thursday, May 03, 2007

Larry Ellison would like to see other cities. It's not us, it's him.

San Francisco's most financially lucrative convention is called OpenWorld and is run by Oracle, a massive business software company that could buy and sell you like, well, like all the people they have already bought and sold.

OpenWorld has been in San Francisco every year for at least five years, but city officials believe the company is shopping around, looking at younger, "trophy" convention centers (with bigger exhibit spaces, naturally) in places like Las Vegas and Chicago, where CEO Larry Ellison grew up.

Oracle kinda sorta denies it, and San Francisco is totally not impressed.

The good news is, Mayor Newsom led 70 people down to Redwood City to win Oracle back for 2008. The bad news is that there is a significant chance they will leave in the next several years, as I was told by both the CEO of the convention and visitors bureau and the city's head of convention facilities.

The trouble is, the show has grown so large it fills up hotel rooms in the city and they have to put people in rooms as far north as Petaluma and as far south a Santa Cruz and then bus them in. We're close to Oracle HQ and a great lure for attendees, but it would be nice to fit the whole thing in one or two cities, apparently.

I broke this Oracle story (free link) last Friday in the Business Times, and on Saturday it was picked up by that Chronicle column, I think it's called Matier & Ross & What We Read in The Business Times This Morning.

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