By Nancy Dahlberg
Conferences, meetings and festivals around South Florida are being cancelled because of Coronavirus precautions. eMerge Americas, the marquee tech conference that was scheduled for March 40-31, is the latest major event to announce a postponement. The new dates are Nov 4-5, 2020.
This year's conference will be eMerge Americas' seventh annual gathering that brings together corporate, startup and government leaders and entrepreneurs under one roof. Speakers slated included Alexis Ohanian, Kevin O’Leary, Tony Robbins and Pitbill. Last year, 16,000 attended the 2-day conference at Miami Beach Convention Center, and organizers were expecting similar attendance later this month.
Here’s the organization's announcement , which was also tweeted by eMerge Americas CEO Felice Gorordo.
"Due to global precautions for the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the state of Florida’s public health emergency declaration, and building upon recommendations from the World Health Organization, we’re postponing our 16,000 attendee tentpole event to November 4-5, 2020.
We’re committed to the health and well-being of our attendees, partners, and the community as a whole. This decision follows careful consideration, and this postponement will enable us to provide the experience that our clients, partners, and employees expect and deserve in a safe environment.
We look forward to holding our 2020 conference later this year with an extraordinary lineup of keynote speakers and participating investors, startups and government officials.
We’re excited to host you later this year and will get back to you with more information in the coming weeks. Attendee registration will be applied to the rescheduled dates."
In recent days the giant Ultra music festival and Calle Ocho festival were also cancelled or postponed. A large industry tech conference, Cloud Summit, announced Thursday that it will postpone its May 12-14 event in Miami Beach until 2021, according to the organizers, Ingram Micro Cloud. Magic Leap suspended business travel for its global employee base, which numbers about 1,000 or so in its Plantation headquarters.
Globally and nationally, we’ve seen plenty of cancellations. On Friday, the popular Collision said its event would be entirely online for the first time. It was scheduled for Toronto in late June and was expecting .30,000.
And late Friday, we also heard from the big Kahuna: The massive South By Southwest conference in Austin announced it was cancelling, the first time in its 34 year history the show won't go on as scheduled (organizers have not announced if it will be rescheduled later in the year). This follows a number of high-profile speakers such as Twitter's Jack Dorsey already announcing they wouldn't be attending and Facebook, Google, Amazon, CNN and others canceling events, product announcements and speaking appearances. Deepblocks was the only Miami startup selected to pitch at SXSW and the only prop-tech company represented in the SXSW competition's AI category. But on Tuesday, CEO Olivia Ramos said the startup would not be pitching or attending because of the coronavirus risk. "We want to do the right thing."
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