The Coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t the end of international events

Majority of the  international trade fairs, conferences and corporate events are under a major risk to be cancelled or postponed due the Coronavirus outbreak. At the same time many international corporations have decided to limit their employees travelling both due the virus but also for other reasons like sustainability.

One month ago, on the 11 of February, World Health Organization (WHO), published “Key considerations for repatriation and quarantine of travellers in relation to the outbreak of novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV”.

On February 12, Nokia, one of the cornerstone companies at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, announced that they will pull out of the trade fair and it did not take long for other tech giants to follow. This made it impossible for the organiser to hold the event and they decided to cancel the entire event.

MWC which was supposed to take place February 24-27 is the biggest and most important mobile communications trade show  in the world, annually gathering over 100,000 professional visitors. It was supposed to be a monumental event for the mobile market, and one that will set the tone for its future. One can only speculate how this might impact the future of international trade events. The current list of cancelled international events is long and the latest to be affected is the SXSW, one the most influential tech, music and film festivals in the world, in Austin March 13-22 that got cancelled by the City of Austin just last week.

With this background we want to give you some perspective on how to navigate and make new strategies for your most important international events.

Traditional webcasts and video conferences can’t replace the live meetings and demo experiences providing possibility for true dialog, networking and being part of professionals and community.

However, in past few years both technology and key event agencies skillset have evolved to combine the strong event planning logic into live streamed event experiences. It’s not just about broadcasting, it’s about thinking every interaction, surrounding facilities, and informal touchpoints as carefully as with physical events taking place in the most advanced event spaces.

We shouldn’t let the virus or business travel restriction stop business, or limit possibility for unique experiences between professionals. There are several ways to create inspirational and valuable live events that can even combine local or regional physical events with global live online experiences and events.

We, at NJ want to challenge all the players to focus on innovation when facing these sudden travel-limiting challenges. We are fortunate to already having a long experience in making the most important live events digital and secure. Together we can build and maintain successful business relation platforms of tomorrow.