Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Coronavirus tech conference cancellations list: Apple WWDC, Salesforce Dreamforce, Microsoft Build and Ignite, VMworld, HPE Discover, Gartner, Dell World and more

As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, tech conferences are being canceled, postponed, or turned into virtual events.

The coronavirus could make remote work the norm, what businesses need to know

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, and as the infectious disease continues to spread, the affects on public health and the global economy is unmistakable. In a March 16 statement put out through the WHO website, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "we're calling on every country and every individual to do everything they can to stop transmission."

As of Monday, the virus had been detected in 187 countries and regions. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University on COVID-19 cases show over 3,500,000 confirmed cases and more than 251,000 deaths. More than 1,100,000 of those infected have recovered.

SEE: How to work from home: IT pro's guidebook to telecommuting and remote work (TechRepublic)

In the US, officials have reported over 1,100,000 cases in all 50 states and Washington D.C. There are over 68,000 reported deaths from the COVID-19 disease. Governors in many states have declared a state of emergency.

In response to the pandemic, governments around the world have enacted travel bans, promoted and in some cases required social distancing measures, and passed stimulus packages designed to mitigate the public health and economic fallout from the outbreak.

latest developments

Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

From cancelled conferences to disrupted supply chains, not a corner of the global economy is immune to the spread of COVID-19.

Read More

In a previous Monday Morning Opener, Larry Dignan examined how the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is affecting global supply chains and consumer demand. He looked at how the disease may accelerate the future of work, including an increase in telecommuting, greater importance on video conferencing and digital collaboration technology, and less travel. As Larry wrote, "One thing is certain: The coronavirus is likely to mean the definition of business, as usual, will change."

SEE: Coronavirus having major effect on tech industry beyond supply chain delays (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

While we won't know the coronavirus' effects on the overall nature of work for some time, one sector of the tech economy that's felt an immediate impact is industry events. Whether as a result of travel bans, laws banning large gatherings, or an abundance of caution, tech conferences are being canceling, postponing, or converted to virtual events...leaving organizers, attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors scrambling to make alternative plans. So, I decided to use this Monday Morning Opener to compile a list of the events that have been called off, pushed back, changed format, or are being held as scheduled.

Note: The coronavirus' effect on the tech industry is a rapidly-changing story. We will do our best to update this list as news of conference cancellations and travel restrictions breaks.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus: Effective strategies and tools for remote work during a pandemic 

Tech conferences canceled, postponed, or going virtual

For a list of canceled or postponed specialty tech conferences, check out the following ZDNet articles:

SEE: IT pro's guidebook: Remote work (TechRepublic)

Salesforce goes virtual for all 2020 events, launches Work.com

On April 29, Salesforce announced that they were making all remaining 2020 events virtual. "We have made the decision to reimagine all physical events through the end of the year, including Dreamforce, Tableau Conference, Tableau Conference Europe, TrailheaDX India, and World Tours," the company said in a statement. On May 4, Salesforce also announced it was launching Work.com--a collection of new tools and resources to help businesses reopen safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook cancels all large, physical events through June 2021

On April 16, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was "canceling any large physical events we had planned with 50 or more people through June 2021." The social media will hold some of their planned gatherings as virtual events. Given this timing, the moratorium would include the company's annual F8 developer event, which was already canceled for 2020.

O'Reilly Media closes in-person events division amid coronavirus outbreak

On March 24, Laura Baldwin, President of O'Reilly Media, announced that the company was shuttering its in-person events division on going completely virtual for future events. In a statement posted on the company's website, Baldwin explained the decision:

"Today, we're sharing the news that we've made the very difficult decision to cancel all future O'Reilly in-person conferences and close down this portion of our business. Without understanding when this global health emergency may come to an end, we can't plan for or execute on a business that will be forever changed as a result of this crisis. With large technology vendors moving their events completely on-line, we believe the stage is set for a new normal moving forward when it comes to in-person events."


The Monday Morning Opener is our opening salvo for the week in tech. Since we run a global site, this editorial publishes on Monday at 8am AEST in Sydney, Australia, which is 6pm Eastern Time on Sunday in the US. It is written by a member of ZDNet's global editorial board, which is comprised of our lead editors across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

Updated May, 4 8:11pm EST: Updated coronavirus information and conference cancelations. Removed outdated information. Previous updates include; employee travel restrictions, conference cancellations, school closings, U.S. lawmakers going into isolation, U.S. travel restrictions, and U.S. aid legislation.