Salesforce has cancelled all physical events for the rest of the year, including November’s Dreamforce conference, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, the company will “reimagine” all conferences as virtual events.
The spread of COVID-19 has seen nearly all major events of 2020 either cancelled or pushed to 2021, while most technology firms, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, have opted to turn their conferences into virtual experiences.
In March, Salesforce turned its World Tour Sydney into a virtual event, transforming what would have been a physical event for 11,000 people into an online conference viewed by 80,000, according to the company.
Dreamforce, which was scheduled for November, is a key event for the company, attracting 171,000 people last year and reportedly creating more than $240 million in revenue for the San Francisco Bay Area. The event is one of the largest in the tech calendar, usually attracting significant media attention and famous speakers, such as former US president Barack Obama in 2019.
“As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our first priority is to help ensure the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and communities,” the company said on its website.
“With this in mind, we have decided to reimagine our events through the end of the year in new and virtual ways. This will be true for all events, including Dreamforce, Tableau Conference 2020, Tableau Conference Europe, TrailheaDX India and our World Tours.”
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The company said it will reimburse partners that had sponsored the event and people that had purchased tickets, though it won’t refund flights or hotel accommodation.
“We will record as much content as possible for on-demand viewing,” the company added. “Some content and experiences may only be available during the live virtual events so we encourage our community to join us live for maximum engagement.”
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