Google axed its biggest annual event, the three-day I/O developers conference, becoming the latest confab to pull the plug over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
I/O 2020 had been set to run in Mountain View, Calif., from May 12-14. Last year’s conference, featuring keynotes, panel discussions and a first look at Google’s latest developer products and platforms, drew about 7,000 attendees. I/O has been held each year since 2008.
“Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre,” the company said in a statement on the event’s site. “Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community.”
Other tech events that have been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus include Facebook’s F8 developers conference, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Mobile World Congress (MWC). Meanwhile, companies including Facebook, Twitter and Intel have bowed out of SXSW 2020 in Austin, Texas; for now, SWSW organizers say the March 13-20 event is still proceeding as planned.
On Monday, Google announced the cancellation of the in-person Google Cloud Next ’20 conference that had been slated to run in San Francisco April 6-8, citing coronavirus concerns, with plans to host it as an online event instead.
As has been the case with other companies, Google has instituted a temporary ban on employee international travel.
The internet company said all attendees who purchased tickets to I/O 2020 will receive a full refund by March 13, 2020. The event tickets cost $1,150 for general admission and $375 for academic attendees.
(Pictured above: Google CEO Sundar Pichai on stage for his keynote during Google I/O in May 2019.)