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Coronavirus-canceled events update: Google conference, Geneva Motor Show and more

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

As the threat of coronavirus escalates around the world, businesses and governments are scrambling to curb the spread of the disease. Here’s an up-to-date list of events that have been canceled in light of the global epidemic. Some are ditching the physical component but keeping or adding on streaming portions of their events.

On Wednesday, March 4, Saudi Arabia announced it will temporary suspend all visits to holy cities Mecca and Madinah. “This precautionary decision is among the safety measures that the Kingdom’s government has consistently taken to limit the spread of the Novel Coronavirus and prevent an outbreak in the Two Holy Mosques, due to the permanent and intense flow of human crowds to those Holy sites, which makes the situation of securing the crowds of utmost importance,” the Ministry of Interior wrote in a statement.

Blizzard Overwatch League Games (2/29-3/22) — Seoul, South Korea

The gaming company, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (ATVI), has canceled a series of the e-sports matches “in order to protect the health and safety of our players, fans, and staff.”

Geneva Motor Show (3/2-3/15) — Geneva, Switzerland

The auto convention is canceled after Switzerland's Federal Office of Public Health placed a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people through at least March 15. "We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors' top priority,” organizers said in a statement.

Beautycounter Leadership Conference (3/5-3/7) — San Francisco, California

The cosmetics company is canceling its summit “due to the serious concerns posed by the spread of COVID-19, and in light of the recent state of emergency declaration by the City of San Francisco and the increased warnings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Instead, the brand will livestream its event from Los Angeles on Friday, March 6, 2020.

An attendee poses for a picture at the Facebook F8 Conference at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, on April 30, 2019. - Got a crush on another Facebook user? The social network will help you connect, as part of a revamp unveiled Tuesday that aims to foster real-world relationships and make the platform a more intimate place for small groups of friends. (Photo by Amy Osborne / AFP) (Photo credit should read AMY OSBORNE/AFP via Getty Images)

Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit (3/9-3/12) — San Francisco, California

Over 4,000 participants were set to gather at the Moscone Center for Facebook’s (FB) marketing summit. “Out of an abundance of caution, we canceled our global marketing summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,” a Facebook spokesman told Reuters.

CERAWeek Energy Conference (3/9-3/13) — Houston, Texas

IHSMarkit’s annual oil and gas industry summit has been canceled. “Our number one concern is the health and safety of delegates and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and vendors,” the organizers said on its website. We have spent the last several weeks focused on this question, established a medical partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital, have been in continuing dialogue with experts on infectious disease, and established an extensive protocol. But the spread of COVID-19 is moving quickly around the world.”

Game Developers Conference (3/16-3/20) — San Francisco, California

After participants like Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook, Electronic Arts (EA), Sony (SNE), and Unity pulled out of the annual gathering of video game designers and programmers, organizers have decided to shut down the event.

Shanghai and Beijing Fashion Weeks (3/25-3/31) — China

China’s two largest cities have indefinitely postponed their strings of fashion shows. The Shanghai show has grown to “become one of the most powerful regional fashion weeks with a big talent pool and strong Chinese spending,” according to WWD.

Milan Furniture Fair (4/21-4/26) — Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile is the largest furniture and design show of its kind, attracting over 434,500 attendees in 2018. Originally scheduled for April, the event has been postponed until June 16.

Watches and Wonders (4/25-4/29) — Geneva, Switzerland

The biggest luxury watch trade show has been canceled. According to organizer The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, the decision was made “in order to protect the health and well-being of all our guests, press, partners and teams.”

Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference (5/5-5/6) — San Jose, California

This annual tentpole event attracted over 5,000 developers last year. In place of the in-person F8 event, Facebook is planning other ways for the developer community to get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content, according to Facebook Director of Platform Partnerships Konstantinos Papamiltiadis.

Google I/O Developer Conference (5/12-5/14) — Mountain View, California

The tech giant is scrapping the physical component of the conference, which attracted over 7,000 attendees last year. “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,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Melody Hahm is Yahoo Finance’s west coast correspondent, covering entrepreneurship, technology and culture. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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