Google cancels ‘physical’ I/O 2020 their biggest event due to corona virus concerns

Following a string of other tech cancellations in recent days, Google just announced that it will not host an in-person I/O 2020 over coronavirus concerns. The company is looking into an alternative format.

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Google I/O 2020 was announced in January, with the ticket application and drawing process taking place late last month. Hosted at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, it’s right across the street from the Googleplex headquarters.

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.

Those that purchased tickets will be fully refunded by March 13, while registered guests this year will automatically be able to purchase I/O 2021 passes (via Twitter). Looking forward, the company is going to “explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community.” At this time, Google does not look to be committing to the original May 12-14 timeframe.

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Meanwhile, Google will be providing $1 million to local Mountain View organizations to help with the lack of I/O and its more than 7,000 attendees. This is specifically aimed at helping to raise awareness about the coronavirus, as well as aiding small businesses, increasing STEM education, and supporting organizations working with unhoused neighbors.

This development follows the Google for Games Developer Summit in mid-March becoming an online event after the postponement of the Game Developers Conference. Meanwhile, Cloud Next ’20 scheduled for April in San Francisco is now a virtual “Digital Connect” event that includes “interactive learning” and digital Q&A sessions with Google teams. I/O 2020 will likely take a similar format.

Google has historically livestreamed almost every single keynote and session on YouTube, and should be equipped to translate I/O into a digital format. During the developer conference, the I/O site is optimized for quickly browsing schedules and finding the right talk.

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