After Facebook canceled its F8 developer conference and Google itself moved its Cloud Next event in April to a digital-only conference, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Google is canceling its I/O developer conference in Mountain View for 2020 as well. The company has sent an email to attendees informing them of the cancellation. The event was originally scheduled to run from May 12 to 14, but because of concerns around the coronavirus, it is now canceling the show.
“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,” Google said in a statement. “Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with and continue to build our developer community. We’ll continue to update the Google I/O website.”
Unlike with its Cloud Next conference, Google hasn’t announced any plans (yet) to still go ahead with its keynotes and sessions in the form of a remote conference. Google’s statement leaves that option open, though.
All attendees who purchased tickets will receive a refund and they won’t have to enter next year’s I/O 2021 lottery to get a ticket. To make up for the economic impact of canceling the event, Google is pledging $1 million to local Mountain View organizations to support small businesses and increase STEM and computer science opportunities in Mountain View schools.
This marks the first time Google has canceled I/O, its flagship developer conference, which it first hosted in 2008. After a few years in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, the event moved outdoors to Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheatre in the company’s backyard. Typically, about 5,000 people attend the event, where Google tends to announce both its latest tools for developers, as well as a good number of new consumer-facing features. Last year, for the first time, it also launched a new phone at the event, the Pixel 3a.