- The Toronto-based Collision conference has been canceled over coronavirus concerns, coming after other tech events like Google I/O, Facebook F8, and Mobile World Congress have been canceled.
- The conference will instead be held virtually this year, while the in-person version of the event is set to resume in 2021.
- The event organizers made the decision after working closely with the city of Toronto and following advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
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The Toronto-based Collision tech conference has been delayed until next year over coronavirus-related fears, becoming the latest major conference cancellation to occur over the past several weeks. The conference, which takes place from June 22-25, will occur online instead.
“Given the uncertainty facing a large number of public events around the world due to the progression of COVID-19, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone Collision from taking place until June 2021,” Web Summit, the organizers behind the event, wrote in a statement on Friday. The company will instead be holding the conference online and is renaming the event “Collision from Home.”
Web Summit said that it made the decision after working closely with the city of Toronto and is following advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The move was made in an abundance of caution given the “international nature of the tech industry,” the company said.
“While it is regrettable to share that Collision will be unable to physically take place this year, in parallel to making this tough decision, we were prompted to think about ways we can adapt, while still providing a valuable attendee experience,” the statement said.
The annual conference draws over 30,000 attendees, according to its website. Speakers at this year’s Collision conference include Uber CTO Thuan Pham, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti, and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie, among others. It’s unclear if any of those speakers will still speak at the conference.
The company says its history in developing software and enabling attendees to network through apps in the past will put it “in a good position” to host the conference remotely.
The decision to move the conference online comes after several high-profile events have been canceled over coronavirus fears. Most recently, Google canceled its annual developer conference, Google I/O, which usually takes place in May. Facebook also canceled its F8 developers conference, and Mobile World Congress, one of the biggest mobile tech events of the year that usually occurs in February, was also canceled.
But South by Southwest, the annual media and music conference taking place in Austin, Texas, from March 13 through 22, is still set to go on as planned, although companies like Twitter, Apple, Netflix, and Facebook have dropped out.
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