Following the ongoing global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there has been ongoing pressure on event organizers from both attendees and local groups to curtail or cancel events out of concern of major events rapidly propagating the virus. We’ve already seen major international shows like Mobile World Congress canceled due to these reasons, and now with the novel coronavirus spreading in more western countries as well – including the United States – the spread is now leading to additional, more local events being canceled.

This afternoon the organizers behind the 2020 Game Developers Conference (GDC), as well as the organizers behind the 2020 Open Compute Project (OCP) Global Summit have announced that they have scrubbed their respective events, which were scheduled to take place next month. OCP’s event has been canceled entirely, meanwhile the GDC organizers are officially postponing their event, with hopes of still holding it in the summer.

The latest cancelations come as additional vendors have been pulling out of GDC. Sony and Facebook had previously pulled out last week, and this week has seen Microsoft, Epic Games, Amazon, and Activision all pull out of the show as well. Which would still leave a large show like GDC with a significant content slate, but none the less the giants of the show have a great importance to it.

In lieu of holding their events as planned, both groups are looking at what they can to help their participants still make their respective announcements and hold their talks. The OCP team has told participants that they “would like to work with you on following through with those announcements to the Community, and the industry at large, over the next week.” Meanwhile on top of conducting a summer event, GDC organizers are hoping to distribute talks over their YouTube channel and their content vault, telling attendees that “In order to allow our conference speakers to still participate in the event, we are intending to make many of the presentations that would have been given at GDC 2020 available for free online.” Both groups seem to be flying by the seat of their pants to a certain degree, but hopefully we’ll see their remote presentation plans come to fruition.

These cancelations are among the latest events to get canceled in the technology industry. On top of these large, public events, within AnandTech we’ve seen some smaller, press-only events canceled as well. So while not every last event has been canceled at this time – notably, NVIDIA’s 2020 GPU Technology Conference is still on – it’s increasingly looking like the tech industry is going to be taking a widescale break on events throughout March.

Sources: Open Compute Project, GDC
Carousel Image Courtesy of: CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS

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  • yeeeeman - Saturday, February 29, 2020 - link

    Hopefully all these cancelations will mean fewer air travels, less polution and a realisation of the fact that we have to respect our planet.
  • PeachNCream - Saturday, February 29, 2020 - link

    Maybe we will figure out that most of these pointlessly large show and tell for adults events are an expensive waste of time and just spare everyone the economic and environmental costs in the future.
  • AshlayW - Saturday, February 29, 2020 - link

    Let's also cancel all holidays/vacations, and container ships. Because container ships are one of the biggest pollutants. I also hope you don't drive, or eat meat. Or dairy. Only veggies grown in your back garden.

    Caring for the enviroment is important, but being a hypocrit on an online comment section isn't.
  • yeeeeman - Saturday, February 29, 2020 - link

    Dairy is brought into stores from max 20km away in my area. Same for veggies. Same for meat. You are the hypocrit since you believe there is only one solution to solve our needs, that is bringing food from the other end of the world by ship and plane.
  • mode_13h - Saturday, February 29, 2020 - link

    Peach's skepticism about the benefit of these tradeshows is legit. This will be an interesting social experiment.

    However, I think a lot of deals and introductions would only happen by being there, in person. There's something about happenstance introductions and being in a room or at a table with someone that you wouldn't otherwise have occasion to meet or talk to.

    With regard for climate concerns, don't let "perfect" be the enemy of "better". Emissions reductions will happen through a continual sequence of incremental improvements. It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing or (quite) overnight.

    Anyway, I expect the short-term impact of reduced travel to be (slightly) higher global temperatures, as happened in the grounding of US air traffic, post-9/11. It turns out that the condensation from airplane exhaust reflects enough sunlight to have a statistically significant, short-term impact on temperatures.
  • yetanotherhuman - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    "Peach's skepticism about the benefit of these tradeshows is legit."
    It's pretty much just people who can't be bothered to do any actual work jerking each other off
  • mode_13h - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    > yetanotherasshole

    Fixed that for you.
  • Spunjji - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    'With regard for climate concerns, don't let "perfect" be the enemy of "better"'

    Climate denialists want to let *everything* be the enemy of better. "Perfect" is just the latest shift of the goalposts, now that "it's not happening" is only popular with the flat Earth crowd.
  • Spunjji - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    Commenter 1: "Hopefully this will raise awareness on doing fewer damaging things."
    Commenter 2: "Yes, cutting down on unnecessary stuff now will help later."
    Commenter 3: "iF yOu DoN't Do EvErYtHiNg PoSsIbLe YoU'rE a HyPoCrItE sHuT uP"

    "Ashlay" is literally this fucking guy:
  • PeachNCream - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    Ashlay's responses to my comments are more about seeking out a way or means to launch a personal attack due to feelings that I probably hurt at some point in the past. Taken in that light, the content of Ashlay's responses to my posts are not really relevant except as a means for him/her to feel better through retaliation. I wouldn't suggest putting much effort into picking apart specifics given the context. I could say the sky is blue and there would be a counter argument from Ashlay with thin justification about how that makes me a horrible person.

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