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Coronavirus forces NVIDIA GTC 2020, Google I/O 2020 and more to cancel physical events

By Vijay Anand - on 4 Mar 2020, 5:57pm

Coronavirus forces NVIDIA GTC 2020, Google I/O 2020 and more to cancel physical events

NVIDIA GTC 2020 among many others are now going to be online-only events.

As the novel coronavirus, or Covid-19, spreads out further with a large number of new cases in Europe, the situation is no longer affecting just Asian countries and is disrupting several major events and conferences worldwide. A quick check with the Coronavirus web app (as reported earlier) reveals the spread and which countries rank high on the infected list.

The latest to pull out from holding a physical event is NVIDIA's annual Graphics Technology Conference (GTC), which was scheduled to take place at San Jose's Convention Center in the state of California (USA). Instead, it's going fully digital to host the event virtually. Here's a quick notice put by NVIDIA:-

As the coronavirus situation is not improving, we’re turning GTC San Jose into a digital conference rather than a live event. Jensen will still give a keynote. We will still share our announcements. And we’ll work to ensure our speakers can share their talks. But we’ll do this all online.

In addition to the keynote that will still go ahead as planned and it would be livestreamed, NVIDIA will also be working with their conference speakers to publish their talks online and those involved in the developer program, will also have scheduled online access to NVIDIA's researchers, engineers and solution architects to carry on the tech symposium virtually. Attendees who purchased GTC passes would receive a full refund.

Similarly, Google's annual I/O event has also been cancelled:-

Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

In place of a physical event that was slated to take place from 12th May to 14th May, Google is working towards delivering it as an online-only event format and exploring how it can connect with the developer community to educate and share the new advances in their turf. Like NVIDIA, Google too is refunding all guests who purchased tickets to their I/O 2020 event.

Yet another event, Google Cloud Next '20, is transforming into an all-digital, free, multi-day event through stream keynotes, breakout sessions and interactive learning from April 6th to 8th.

The health and wellbeing of Google Cloud customers, partners, employees and the overall community is our top priority. Due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDCWHO and other relevant entities, Google Cloud has decided to reimagine Google Cloud Next ’20, which will still take place from April 6-8.

IFA's Global Press Conference for journalists and analysts to experience new trends and advanced product previews is also cancelling their previously scheduled event from 2nd April to 4th April out of safety and concerns for their guests.

The health and safety of our guests is paramount for us. Hence IFA Berlin has decided to cancel this year’s Global Press Conference.

2020 is no doubt going to be a tough year for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) industry and with it, the tourism and travel sectors. Will Covid-19 transform meetings and exhibitions permanently? It's hard to say, but if history is a point of reference, it's hard to shift all human interaction virtually such as when SARS broke out and soon after, normalcy resumed. The real question is how long before Covid-19 concerns subside and it's anybody's guess now.

Source: NVIDIA, Google, IFA (Messe Berlin)