COVID-19 Update

All Eyes on InfoComm, Other AV Events as Tech Events Modified or Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

InfoComm 2020 staff are actively monitoring the coronavirus situation while other large technology conferences are getting cancelled.

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All Eyes on InfoComm, Other AV Events as Tech Events Modified or Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

InfoComm 2019 set an attendance record for the show with 44,129 people registered.

As fears of the novel coronavirus sweep the globe, large technology conventions, conferences and trade shows — including some professional audiovisual events — are being modified or cancelled to avoid spreading the illness. That doesn’t bode well for the largest professional audiovisual trade show in the U.S.

InfoComm 2020 is still expected to go on as planned in June in Las Vegas, but show management and executive staff of AVIXA are monitoring the situation as the coronavirus continues its widespread march across the globe.

In three separate statements updating the show’s response to the global concern over the virus, AVIXA and show management said they are continuing to monitor the spread of the illness and pledged to proceed in accordance with guidelines provided by health officials and local authorities, including the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Southern Nevada Health District, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Las Vegas Convention Center.

Those statements came on Feb. 24, Feb. 28 and March 4.

“We wish to reassure our exhibitors, attendees and staff that health and safety is our paramount concern as we consider the decisions around the InfoComm show,” the statements say.

The statements also provided attendees with a list of precautions the event staff is taking, including increased cleaning protocols, additional hand sanitizer stations, increased air intake/air change rates and reinforced health and food safety practices for show staff.

Visitors are also urged to avoid contact with sick people, practice cough etiquette and avoid handshaking or excessive contact.

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“If the expertise of the global health community recommends a different course of action, we will immediately implement these changes,” the statement reads.

Although there have not yet been confirmed cases in Nevada, there have been reports of suspected cases in southern Nevada and confirmed cases in neighboring states Arizona and California.

Other pro AV events react

{UPDATE}: Almo Pro A/V has cancelled its E4 Experience event in Santa Clara, California surrounding concerns of COVID-19 spreading in the state.

Other events in the AV world scheduled to take place before InfoComm are also being impacted as events are either significantly modified or big-name exhibitors pull out due to coronavirus concerns.

Many events have pages on their official websites dedicated solely to their response to the coronavirus, with many of them urging attendees to not come if they’re sick and to take health and etiquette precautions to avoid transmitting the disease at the event.

Event staff say they will act in accordance with the recommendations of local, national and international health officials, meaning they could be significantly modified if officials deem it unsafe for that many people to congregate in an event hall for several days.

At Enterprise Connect, scheduled for Orlando, Fla. at the end of the month and into early April, Cisco and Avaya have pulled out, according to company statements released in the last few days.

Meanwhile, other events like Digital Signage Expo and National Association of Broadcasters — both scheduled for this spring in the same venue as InfoComm 2020 — have pledged to hold their respective events responsibly while they continue to monitor the evolving situation despite some exhibitors pulling out.

Others like the PSNI Global Alliance Supersummit have not announced any changes to their programming.

How Big Tech has reacted to Coronavirus

Outside of pro AV, the coronavirus is forcing bigger organizations to cancel their planned events.

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Nvidia and Adobe — the latter of which was slated to hold an event in Las Vegas — highlight large tech firms who have either cancelled events or moved them to online-only features.

Fears are rising, and health officials are publicly acknowledging that the illness could become a pandemic as it spreads outside of China.

On Wednesday, WHO reported there were at least 93,090 confirmed cases globally and 3,198 deaths due to the what health officials have coined COVID-19.

This has sparked travel advisories and restrictions from organizations like the CDC on entering the U.S. from China, Japan, Iran and Italy.

In recent days, U.S. health officials have announced the first fatal cases of the virus on the West Coast, with that number now hitting 11 as of Thursday morning.