The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is considered a "very high" global risk by the World Health Organization, as there are more than 127,000 cases across 90+ countries at this time of writing. As a safety precaution, some tech companies are cancelling their upcoming annual conferences and events. Here's a list of all the major shows that have been canceled so far.
Why are tech companies cancelling?
COVID-19 has taken the lives of roughly 5,000 people as of 13 March 2020.
And, in the past few days, several new coronavirus cases have popped up in the US, Italy, Japan, and other countries. Global health experts and even some countries are beginning to warn people against non-essential travel, purely as a means of preventing the spread of the deadly virus.
Facebook, due to coronavirus concerns, has therefore announced it is cancelling F8, an annual conference that attracts thousands of developers, journalists, and other attendees from dozens of countries. Instead, it plans to host "locally hosted events, videos, and live-streamed content".
Even Twitter is barring employees from unnecessary travel. So, if the virus continues to wreak havoc globally, it's safe to assume more tech companies will follow suit, possibly limiting employee travel and even cancelling shows.
Which conferences have been cancelled?
Here is a selection of the most well-known tech conferences that have been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns:
- Adobe Summit (29 March to 2 April in Las Vegas)
- E3 (9 June to 11 June in Los Angeles)
- Facebook F8 (6 May to 8 May in San Jose / Global Marketing Summit also canceled)
- Geneva Motor Show (5 March to 15 March in Switzerland)
- Google News Initiative Global Summit (late April in Sunnyvale, California)
- Google Cloud Next (6 April to 8 April in San Francisco)
- Google I/O (12 May to 14 May in Mountain View)
- Intel (INTC)/Intel Labs Day (12 March in San Francisco)
- Mobile World Congress (24 February to 27 February in Barcelona)
- Nvidia GTC (22 March to 26 March in San Jose) - Will be online only
- SXSW (12 March to 22 March in Austin, Texas)
Which conferences are online-only?
- Dell World (4 May to 7 May in Las Vegas) - Online event planned
- Microsoft Build (19 May to 21 May in Seattle) - Online event planned
- WWDC (June 2020) - Online event planned
Note: Although not official, Google I/O and Facebook F8 will probably have online components this spring.
Which conferences have been postponed?
Here is a selection of the most well-known tech conferences that have been postponed to a later date due to coronavirus concerns:
- Baselworld (30 April to 5 May in Basel) - Postponed to January 2021
- Black Hat Asia 2020 (31 March to 3 April) - Postponed until September
- EmTech Asia (24 March to 36 March in Singapore) - Postponed to August
- GDC (16 March to 20 March in San Francisco) - Postponed to "later this summer"
- Photography Show (14 March to 17 March in UK) - Postponed until September
Which conferences will run as planned?
Here is a selection of the most well-known tech conferences that are still being held as planned, despite coronavirus concerns:
- Computex (2 June to 6 June in Taipei)
- HPE Discover (23 June to 25 June in Las Vegas)
- Recode Code Conference 2020 (26 May to 28 May in Beverly Hills)
- VMworld (21 August to 3 September in San Francisco)
How to track the coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering has an online dashboard, which you can view here, that tracks the spread of COVID-19 in real-time across the world. It actually pulls data from the World Health Organization, as well as from the Centers for Disease Control in the US, China, and Europe. The data is then visually represented through a graphic information system powered by Esri.