Feb 21, 2020 - Technology

Coronavirus forces more companies to skip tech conferences

Illustration of a Newton's Cradle, with a virus cell about to hit the balls.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sony and Oculus parent Facebook both said on Thursday that they are pulling out of next month's Game Developer Conference in San Francisco over coronavirus concerns. Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon are joining IBM in skipping next week's RSA security conference in San Francisco.

The big picture: While these two shows are still slated to continue, other events have been scrapped altogether, including Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, one of the tech industry’s biggest global events, and Facebook's global marketing conference.

What they're saying:

  • Facebook/Oculus: "We're removing our booth footprint and advising all employees to refrain from traveling to the show. We plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks."
  • Sony (per gamesindustry.biz): "We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future."
  • GDC organizers: "We believe that, based on the strict U.S. quarantine around coronavirus and a large number of enhanced on-site measures, we are able to execute a safe and successful event for our community."

Go deeper: Misinformation about coronavirus is spreading fast

Go deeper