COVID-19 the formal name for the flu-like disease that originated from the Wuhan area of China, and to date this has affected north of 80,000 people and killed almost 3,000 globally! The virus continues to spread around the world with fears rising it’s causing some major disruptions in all areas of industry; supply chain is going to be affected as the majority of parts come from the China regions. Also, people are cutting back their travel either personal holiday travel or business travels, the amount of people out there that have received the corporate email saying don’t travel due to COVID-19.
I travel a lot for my work, in a global position my role requires me to be on a plane a lot and travelling to each corner. There is a mixed bag of travel for me, some of my travel is for customer and partner meetings but for the most part my travel is based around large IT conferences around the world. So far this year I have been to Shanghai, China in the first week back in 2019 (don’t worry I have had no symptoms of any cold or flu) then I have also been to Prague, Czech Republic and then also Atlanta, USA. Then I have had a huge block of being at home and no time on a plane.
What strikes me is the amount of conferences being cancelled due to the outbreak, I am not sure what happened in the IT industry going back to H1N1 in 2009 but now I am in this space its more visible.
As of today 29th February, Happy Leap Day people. The following events have been cancelled within our Industry.
- Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
- Facebook Global Marketing Summit in San Francisco
- Facebook F8 in San Jose, California
- EmTech, Asia in Singapore
- Google News Initiative Global Summit in Sunnyvale, California
- Shopify’s developer conference, Unite, in Toronto
- Game Developers Conference, in San Francisco on March 16-17
- F5 Agility – March 16-19, 2020 in Orlando
- Cisco Live Melbourne
- Cisco Marketing Velocity Summit in Austin
- CloudFest 2020
- T Systems International Portfolio & Partner Day on March 5th in Berlin
- Microsoft Ignite Zurich cancelled
- IDC Direction SANTA Clara March 3rd
Currently KubeCon which is due to be at the end of March in Amsterdam is still on with some good communication from the organisers, I know this because this is the next event I am supposed to be attending but as the numbers grow and grow this and many more events will likely be considered for cancellation.
Another swarm of events being cancelled are sales kick off events generally around the beginning of the year or at the end of the company financial year. These are generally not published online but you just have to look at your twitter feed and speak to peers within in the industry.
It’s not just the IT industry there are lots of other events that were scheduled that have also been cancelled.
This is also affecting where people work, and really opens the door for companies to have to keep their employees at home to function away from large shared workspaces to prevent and additional risk of exposure, companies like Zoom and other collaboration and remote calling software is going to be some of the vendors that will benefit from this outbreak. I think one thing that will come from this is how companies deal with this in the future, I can see more and more people being allowed to work from home.
Lots more events are also listed here – https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/06/reuters-america-update-2-dozens-of-asia-trade-fairs-conferences-postponed-amid-coronavirus-fears.html obviously as you can expect the Asian and in general APJ/APAC events are going to be the first ones to be cancelled.
Update: I am in the market for a Nintendo Switch and those supplies already seem to be affected by the virus and supply chain. Just one article outlining some of the details that we could be coming up against in that supply chain across the globe.
I am going to open up the comments here and would love to keep the events list growing with any that you know of so we can keep people informed.
Keep safe people,