More than two months in advance, Google ditches its biggest event of the year, I/O 2020, because of the growing coronavirus threat.
On Tuesday, Google announced that it was cancelling I/O 2020, slated for May 12-14, due to the growing coronavirus threat. The cancellation comes soon after Google scrapped plans to hold Google Cloud Next in person April 6-8 and turned it into a digital event.
Google said in a statement, “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.” Google is offering a full refund on tickets and said that anyone who has purchased them should see a credit on their statement by March 13, 2020.
In addition, “Guests who have registered for I/O 2020 will not need to enter next year’s drawing and will be automatically granted the option of purchasing an I/O 2021 ticket. Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community.”
Tech conference cancellations continue around the world
This is the latest of many high profileas people fear being in contact with someone with COVID-19, which is the illness caused by the coronavirus.
The CDC now has just over 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US in 15 states and six deaths, with New Hampshire and Georgia the most recent states to join the battle against the virus. The novel coronavirus has resulted in more than 3,100 deaths worldwide. So far, there have been 90,000 global cases confirmed as coronavirus spreads around the world.
Earlier on Tuesday, Microsoft cancelled its annual Most Valuable Professional Summit, announcing that it would become an online event. The MVP Summit was set for March 15-20 in Bellevue and Redmond, Wash. On Monday, Adobe Summit 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, changing to an online-only format.
Last week, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) cancelled, as well as Facebook calling off F8. And Twitter and Facebook have both pulled out of SXSW.
Adobe Summit was scheduled to take place from March 31-April 2 in Las Vegas. The organizers said in a statement, “Over the past few weeks, we have been closely monitoring and evaluating the situation around COVID-19 to ensure we are taking the necessary measures to protect the health and wellbeing of Adobe Summit attendees. As a result, we have made the difficult but important decision to make Summit/Imagine 2020 an online event this year and cancel the live event in Las Vegas.”
SEE: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic (ZDNet special feature)
Google Cloud Next cancellation details
In regards to the Google Cloud Next cancellation, Google said in a statement, “We are transforming the event into Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect, a free, global, digital-first, multi-day event connecting our attendees to Next ’20 content and each other through streamed keynotes, breakout sessions, interactive learning and digital “ask an expert” sessions with Google teams.”
Google also cancelled its Google News Initiative Summit due to concerns about the coronavirus. The conference had been scheduled for late April in Sunnyvale, Calif. “We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and wellbeing of our guests is our number one priority,” Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google, said in a statement.
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