Now that the World Health Organization has officially declared Coronavirus or Covid 19, as a global pandemic, a growing number of companies are asking their workforces to work from home, and conferences around the world are being cancelled as a result. Similarly, several companies are embracing virtual conferences to ensure attendees around the world can participate in events from the comfort and safety of their homes.
As of this week, the virus has affected people in 116 countries. In an effort to mitigate further exposure, a number of upcoming events have been cancelled. Due to cancellations, our team at Zight (formerly CloudApp) will no longer be attending Atlassian or Adobe Summits. Here’s a graphic of our sponsor booth that we would have had at Atlassian:
To keep you up to date with the most recent cancellations, here is a list of current cancelled conferences:
- Zendesk Miami
- Salesloft Conference
- All schools are closed in Japan
- IDC Cancels Tech Conference
- Google’s Internal Conference
- Google has asked employees not to travel except under special circumstances
- F8 Developer Conference
- Amazon halts all employee travel
- Adobe Summit
- Apple WWDC
- Remote Work Summit
- Gartner Tech Growth
- Frontiers (Slack)
- Dublin Tech Summit
- Connect 2020
- Aruba Networks Atmosphere 2020
- Black Hat Asia 2020 Postponed until September/October
- Cisco Live Melbourne
- DEF CON China Postponed TBD
- Dell World Online-only event
- DocuSign Momentum Online-only event
- Domopalooza Online-only event
- EmTech Asia Postponed to August
- Enterprise Connect 2020 Postponed to August
- ESRI Developer Summit Online-only event
- F5 Agility 2020 Online-only event
- Facebook F8
- Facebook Global Marketing Summit
- Future Vision: DTG Summit 2020 Postponed until October
- Game Developers Conference (GDC) Postponed to Summer 2020
- Gartner Data & Analytics Summit London Postponed
- Gartner Data & Analytics Summit Texas Postponed
- Google Cloud Next Online-only event
- Google I/O
- Google News Initiative Summit
- Ingram Micro Cloud Cloud Summit 2020 Postponed until early 2021
- IoT World Developer Conference Postponed until August
- Kaspersky’s Security Analyst Summit Postponed until Fall 2020
- Microsoft WSLConf Online-only event
- Microsoft MVP Global Summit Online-only event
- Mobile World Congress MWC Barcelona
- MSPWorld Rescheduled for June 2020
- NAB Show – National Association of Broadcasters Possibly rescheduled for Fall
- Nvidia GTC – GPU Technology Conference Online-only event
- O’Reilly Strata Data & AI Conference Postponed & Merged with Strata Data & AI September
- Oktane Live Online-only event
- Oracle Modern Business Experience Postponed until September
- Paris Blockchain Week Summit Postponed until December
- Qualtrics X4 Summit Postponed to early Fall 2020
- Red Hat Summit 2020 online-only event
- SaaS Connect – Cloud Software Association Postponed until October
- SaaStr Annual 2020 Rescheduled in September
- Salesforce World Tour Sydney online-only event
- SAP Ariba LIVE
- SAP Concur Fusion online-only event
- SAP NOW
- SAS Global Forum online-only event
- Shopify Unite 2020 developers conference online-only event
- TNW Conference Postponed until October
- San Francisco declares state of emergency
- Orange County declares state of emergency
- Japan Olympics may be cancelled
If you normally attend in-person conferences or meetings at your office, you’re well aware that they offer enormous value for attendees, and can be resource-heavy. As more and more conferences are being cancelled or postponed, it’s easy to become discouraged. However, we’re finding that many of the events are transitioning to online-only events, which is great news for anyone that has been looking forward to a particular event.
Cancelled Conferences Transitioning to Virtual Conferences
As Covid 19 spreads, people across every industry are taking extra precautions to mitigate the risk of spreading sickness. If you have always attended in-person conferences, you might be a bit skeptical about so many transitioning to online-only, or just offering that portion of a conference. You might be wondering, what is a virtual conference? It’s precisely what it sounds like: a conference or meeting that you attend virtually by video, which means participants can log into the conference from anywhere.
In 1993, Alan Saperstein and Randy Selman introduced the first Virtual event by videotaping trade show exhibitors booths and attaching the video to HTML floor maps. Since then, these events have increased in popularity among marketers as they are cost-effective.
Hosting a virtual conference seems like a natural move for organizations that are seeking a cost-effective way to reach a larger audience, but more importantly, for those looking to avoid exposing attendees to potential sickness.
At a virtual conference, you still get to interact with influential leaders, listen and learn from the talks, and receive the same value and resources, but from anywhere. Unsurprisingly, various industries have begun to realize the benefits of virtual conference vs in-person conference as it offers attendees the same value, but without leaving your desk. Simply log into an “event” online, meet and interact with people through messaging platforms, and navigate different “rooms” (aka web pages) to watch various speakers present their knowledge through video. It offers all the same value you would receive at a conference, but at your convenience or the convenience of your attendees.
Make sure if you’re hosting or attending a virtual conference that the platform being utilized has a chat feature, as well as a Q&A portion of the talk, as this key for getting the conversation flowing. Thought-provoking, relevant, and provocative questions during sessions will encourage attendees to participate, which boosts the value of an online conference.
There’s tons of value in hosting or attending a virtual conference. Perhaps you’ve experienced the difficulty of scheduling a time when everyone is available at a certain location for a specific period of time. Perhaps you’ve missed out on an event that you thought would be transformative because you weren’t able to physically attend. The benefits of virtual conference vs in-person conference become far more clear when you consider how difficult it can be to arrange schedules and traveling time.
Covid 19 is rapidly changing the way conferences are being held in the near future, so be sure to stay up to date on conference cancellations and travel restrictions. In today’s world, we have the tools to transform the way you participate in, or host virtual conferences. Having access to so many platforms and tools that streamline the process of hosting or attending a successful virtual conference. Platforms such as Zight (formerly CloudApp), Asana, and Slack, means we can still provide or gain the same value as an in-person conference while mitigating the risk of spreading Covid 19.
Remote Work is Now the Norm
In addition to conferences being cancelled, many businesses are encouraging, or even requiring, their employees to work from home for at least a couple of weeks. This comes with its own set of challenges, especially if you don’t have a home office or have kids running around. We have put together some resources to help you stay productive despite what may be challenging circumstances.
Check out our Remote Work Guide which features resources such as remote work trends, a list of must-have remote work tools, a remote work team communication guide, and more. Working from home may not be your cup of tea, but hopefully these tips will make the experience better!