As the coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads from China to the rest of the world, several countries have advised citizens to avoid public gatherings. Certain countries have also restricted the entry of foreign citizens into their countries in order to keep the virus from spreading. However, new cases are still emerging from all across. In India for instance, the toll has risen from 3 cases to 43 cases within 10 days.
This has led to events and celebrations being cancelled, including some of the biggest tech events of the year. For instance, the Mobile World Congress 2020 of February 27, Facebook’s F8 developers’ conference of May 5 and 6 and many more.
Even the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which is said to be one of the largest global technology events, was cancelled to ensure a safe and healthy environment in Barcelona, where the event was scheduled to be held.
Meanwhile in India, Time Group’s flagship Global Business Summit was organised without any hitches on March 6 and 7. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the event as the chief guest.
Virtual Is The New Real
Meanwhile, companies like Google and Microsoft have decided to take their events online. Google I/O developers conference, which was supposed to be held from May 12 to 14, whereas Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit scheduled for March 15 to 20 have now transformed into a “digital-event”.
Besides this, US-based startup accelerator Y Combinator has also moved its 30th demo day online this year over the growing concerns of coronavirus. The company, in an email, announced, “While we won’t be able to recreate every aspect of Demo Day, we’ll try our best to create an amazing experience for our founders and investors.”
Previously, the audience was allowed to attend the event both virtually and in the audience on March 23 and 24. An invite to Inc42 read, “Demo Day is a private, invitation-only event and is always oversubscribed. You must accept your invitation below in order to attend. Please RSVP quickly to save your seat. If you’re unable to attend Demo Day in person and would like to watch the presentations online, RSVP “no” and we’ll send you a video access link once they are posted.”
Now, the event will be pre-recorded and released on March 23 to all investors and Media. Y Combinator will also provide additional written information to each company to allow investors and the founders to exchange contact information and arrange one-on-one meetings.
In India, Xiaomi and Redmi have converted their on-ground events for the launch of their new models into a digital-first one. The events were scheduled for Delhi, but were cancelled after new cases of coronavirus emerged in the national capital. Xiaomi India’s event was scheduled for March 12, 2020.
Besides these, IBM Think 2020, Collision 2020, Octa’s Oktane Conference, and Adobe Summit 2020 will also be held virtually.