Five hundred million dollars (about 449 million euros). This is the value that the coronavirus has already cost to the technology event industry, reveals o Recode, citing a study by PredictHQ. Every year, technology companies like Facebook or Google have their own events and use conferences to present news. This year, with fears surrounding the new coronavirus strain, the scenario has changed. Of this amount, the largest share ($ 480 million), is a consequence of the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the largest smartphone event in the world that should have been held in Barcelona at the end of February.
The figures revealed refer to losses that airlines and other transportation companies, hotels, and restaurants have already had due to event cancellations and postponements. That is, in an industry – technological events – valued by the data analysis company Oxford Economics at more than one billion dollars (trillion, in English), these numbers may be higher.
Even so, the losses already recorded are not small for each company. Facebook canceled the Global Marketing Summit, an event dedicated to product news that gives more money to the company created by Mark Zuckerberg, advertising, and F8, its biggest annual event. With the first, due in February, direct costs are estimated to have been $ 19.4 million. With the F8, even with a cancellation in advance – the event was scheduled for the beginning of May – it is estimated that the costs amount to 12.2 million dollars.
Google, just because it canceled Google I / O, the annual developer conference that is the company's biggest annual event, had an impact of $ 19.5 million. The event was going to take place in Sillicon Valley between March 12 and 14 and was going to have 5,000 thousand participants. However, with the cancellation, many people have already had to change plans. Google, in a statement, said it would reimburse everyone who had already purchased a ticket for the event.
EmTech Asia, a technology event that was supposed to take place in Singapore, between 25 and 26 February, has been postponed. He expected to receive only about 900 people. However, just by being postponed, it caused losses of $ 1.7 million. Adobe, which, among other products, sells Photoshop software, canceled Adobe Summit. It was scheduled for Las Vegas from March 29 to April 2. Only 500 people were going to attend, but the cancellation had an impact of $ 2 million.
Outside these numbers are other events that have already been canceled, such as the Game Developers Conference (GDC), an annual event dedicated to those who make video games, which was scheduled for March 16 to 20, in San Francisco, the conference for developers from Huawei, which had date set for early February, or Cloud Next '20, Google’s annual event dedicated to company cloud services (on external servers).
Due to the economic impact that the cancellations imply, other events, such as South By Southwest (SXSW), are still scheduled for March 13-22. Huawei even maintains the date of March 26 to launch the future P40 smartphone in Paris. Even Apple has not yet said what it will do about its annual developer event, which usually takes place in late spring.
However, at least as the SXSW organization has advanced, to continue holding events at this stage, there is close collaboration with health authorities. Other companies, such as Google, Facebook or Sony, have kept dates for presentations, but exclusively on the internet to avoid the risk of contagion. However, in the case of SXSW, Recode advances that, if canceled, the losses may amount to 900 million dollars, due.
In all, about 93,000 people worldwide, mostly in China, have already been infected with the coronavirus and more than 3,100 have died.