If you're planning to head to a major tech conference or other event this spring, better double check to make sure it's still happening. As coronavirus fears, and the coronavirus itself, are spreading worldwide, many companies and event organizers are canceling major events in an attempt to slow the virus' spread, or at least not make things any worse.
Here's what's been canceled so far:
1. MWC Barcelona
MWC, formerly Mobile World Conference, would have been held February 24-27. On February 12, GMSA, the mobile industry association issued a statement canceling the event "because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event." They invited everyone to come back for MWC 2021. The huge event would have drawn 100,000 attendees.
2. Workday Sales Conference
This cancellation will mostly affect Workday employees and partners, but it was expected to draw 3,000 people and take place in Orlando March 2-4. Workday told CNBC that it was canceling the in-person event "out of an abundance of caution," and would have a virtual event instead.
3. Facebook Global Marketing Summit
The event was originally scheduled for March 9-12 in San Francisco, but Facebook told The Verge that it was canceling "out of an abundance of caution." (It's a popular phrase.) The event was expected to draw 4,000 attendees.
4. ASEAN Summit in Las Vegas
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations was set to have a special summit March 14 in Las Vegas, most likely with president Donald Trump in attendance. But the White House is reportedly considering a travel ban covering some of the countries hardest hit by the virus, which would have been some of the countries represented at the summit. "The United States values our relationships with the nations of this critical region, and looks forward to future meetings," a senior administration official told NBC.
5. Game Developers Conference
The GDC was scheduled for San Francisco, March 16-20. Last year it drew 29,000 attendees. Three weeks ago, organizers were insisting the event would go forward as planned, but since then, many of the major participants, including Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Sony withdrew from the conference, essentially leaving little choice but for it to cancel. The organizers say they will hold the conference later this summer.
One of the highest-profile cancellations thus far is Facebook's giant developer conference F8, which would have taken place May 5-6 in San Jose. This is when the company normally makes major product and feature announcements. Facebook says it will stream live content and hold locally hosted events instead.
Tech conference organizers aren't the only ones pulling the plug on big events. Fashion weeks in Shanghai and Beijing scheduled for late March have both been canceled. So has the Geneva Motor Show, scheduled for March 5-15 has been cancelled. It would have been illegal under a Swiss government ban of gatherings of 1,000 people or more. The show is where many automakers show off their flashiest innovations, and some are planning virtual press conferences instead.
Bands, including Green Day and BTS have canceled tours in Asia. Several high-profile Hollywood movie premieres in China have been canceled or postponed. And, interestingly, Hollywood has pulled the plug on some movie and TV productions. These include Mission Impossible VII, which was supposed to shoot in Venice this month during Carnival -- but Carnival was canceled as Italy saw a growing number of coronavirus infections. Another casualty is The Amazing Race, which would have been shooting its 33rd season.
Not canceled yet
For now, Google's IO conference, scheduled for San Francisco May 12-14 appears to be going ahead. Apple usually holds its WWDC developer conference in June, and so far has not given any indication that it intends to cancel. SXSW, scheduled to begin March 13, seems to be full steam ahead. And then there are the Summer Olympics, set to run from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee has dismissed rumors that the Olympics could be canceled, although one committee member says that the committee could make that decision as late as late May. Stay tuned.