Tech Giants Cancel Conventions Over COVID- 19 Concerns
Concern over the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused many tech companies to cancel or postpone their upcoming conventions and events. Companies such as Adobe, Facebook, and Google have canceled major conferences amid growing health and public safety concern regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Adobe has cancelled its upcoming Adobe Summit / Magento Imagine conference, which was scheduled to take place between March 29th to April 2nd in Las Vegas and draw approximately 22,000 attendees. Instead, Adobe is planning to host an online version of their conference as a digital experience. Details about the online event will be announced soon. Adobe Summit EMEA is still scheduled to take place from May 13- 14 in London.
Major tech conferences that have been cancelled so far:
- Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 24th – 27th
- Google I/O in Mountain View, California, May 12th – 14th
- Facebook F8 in San Jose, California, May 5th – 6th
- Adobe Summit/ Magento Imagine in Las Vegas, March 29th – April 2nd
- Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 16th – 20th
- Shopify Unite in Toronto, May 6th – 8th
- Intel Labs Day in San Francisco, March 12th
Conferences, conventions and events still happening as scheduled:
- SXSW in Austin, Texas, March 13th – 22nd
- TED in Vancouver BC, April 20th – 24th
- Adobe EMEA in London, May 13th – 14th
It’s estimated that at least a half a billion dollars will be lost from the cancellation of major tech industry events and conferences from the hospitality and travel industries alone. Smaller start up tech companies hoping to utilize these conferences to leverage their business through networking are now scrambling for other opportunities to reach investors and access industry information and updates.
Tech Takes Precautions
In addition to canceling events, many tech companies, including Amazon and Salesforce, have canceled or banned international travel for their employees. Non-essential domestic travel is discouraged as well. Twitter and Square have both implemented broad work from home policies for their employees. With many companies pulling out of events, prohibiting travel, and encouraging employees to work from home, telecommuting programs and services such as Skype and Zoom stand to see a significant increase in users and profits.
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