Google cancels biggest event of the year, I/O 2020, as coronavirus impacts continue

In response to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, Google has cancelled its biggest event of the year, I/0 2020, adding to a list of events cancelled for the same reason that includes Facebook’s F8, Google’s Cloud Next, Mobile World Congress, Game Developer Conference, and Facebook and Twitter’s SXSW commitments.

The event for developers was due to take place from 12 to 14 May at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, but Google said the cancellation was in line with health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organisation, and other health authorities.

The I/O conference “brings together developers from around the globe for talks, hands-on learning with Google experts, and a first look at Google’s latest developer products”.

The search engine giant promised ticket-holders will receive full refunds by 13 March, and will automatically be eligible to buy tickets to I/O 2021. Usually, guests have to enter a drawing system in order to win the right to buy a ticket.

General admission tickets were US$1,150 and academic tickets US$375. Google cannot refund guests for any travel they had booked for the conference, including flights and hotels.

“Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community,” Google said in a statement.

Locally, the Sydney offices of OMD, Foxtel Media, and Dentsu Aegis Network were among those closed on Friday as a precautionary measure.


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