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Business

Business Roundtable Innovation Summit among conferences canceled or scaled back amid coronavirus fears

Video game developers from around the world flock to San Francisco every year for the Game Developers Conference, which has been postponed.
(Game Developers Conference)
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As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, the events industry is starting to take a hit.

A number of conferences, trade shows and events around the world have been canceled or postponed as attendees and organizers voice concerns about the new coronavirus. In Europe alone, at least 260 conferences have been canceled due to the coronavirus, said Sherrif Karamat, chief executive of PCMA, a trade association representing the business events industry. Most of those events were in Italy.

Already, the virus has killed over 3,000 people, more than 2,800 of whom have been in China’s Hubei province.

In the last 20 years, the conference and convention industry has expanded rapidly, in line with the growth in world economies and markets. In 2017, global business events generated about $1 trillion worth of direct spending, including funds to plan and produce the events and related travel, according to an Events Industry Council report.

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There will be “significant impact” on the conference industry this year due to the coronavirus, said Nick Vyas, executive director of the center for global supply chain management at USC Marshall School of Business. “It’ll disrupt the ecosystem supported by the trade shows and conferences.”

So far, these are some of the events that have been canceled, postponed or turned into online-only events.

  • Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Feb. 24-27
  • Trans-Pacific Merchants, Long Beach, March 1-4
  • American Physical Society meeting, Denver, March 2-6
  • Natural Products Expo West, Anaheim, March 3-7 (postponed and next month a new date will be announced, conference organizers say)
  • Geneva International Motor Show, Geneva, Switzerland, March 5-15
  • Nowruz celebration at UCLA, Los Angeles, March 8
  • 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition, Orlando, March 9-13
  • Facebook Global Marketing Summit, San Francisco, March 9-12
  • CERAWeek, Houston, March 9-13
  • Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, March 16-20 (postponed until summer, conference organizers say)
  • Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the Woodlands, Texas, March 16-20
  • Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit, Washington, D.C., March 18 (will be rescheduled, according to organizers)
  • Livre Paris book fair, Paris, March 20-23
  • Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, San Jose, March 22-26 (now an online event)
  • Adobe Summit and Magento Imagine, Las Vegas, March 29-April 2 (now an online event)
  • Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Bologna, Italy, March 30-April 2 (rescheduled for May 4-7)
  • Google Cloud Next ’20, San Francisco, April 6-8 (now an online event)
  • Facebook F8 conference, San Jose, May 5-6
  • Google I/O, Mountain View May 12-14
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