One by one, major conferences and events have been postponed or cancelled in response to the spread of COVID-19, widely referred to simply by the name: Coronavirus. Most major cancellations were occurring for events scheduled in February and March, but it was inevitable organizers would have to begin dealing with events further out on the calendar. The latest name to get his is Google Cloud Next, an event focused on building software using Google services and other web technologies. However, instead of cancelling the event, Google Cloud is turning it into a virtual conference.

Google Cloud Next (GCN) was scheduled to take place April 6-8 in San Francisco, California. The date will remain intact, but without a physical venue. Instead, the entire event will continue on as Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect. The Google Cloud team will be streaming the keynotes, breakout sessions, and other activities.

The health and well-being of Google Cloud partners, customers, employees and the overall community is our top priority. Due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDCWHO, and other relevant entities, Google Cloud has decided to reimagine Google Cloud Next '20, which will still take place from April 6-8.

Those registered to attend GCN will receive refunds for their tickets and be automatically registered for the new digital conference at no charge.

This obviously doesn't bode well for Google I/O, which is currently still scheduled to occur 5 weeks later (May 12-14). Since Google traditionally live streams almost everything from I/O, it would make sense to follow the same strategy for cancelling the in-person event. Since invites were sent out just last week, and many recipients are either working on or have already made travel arrangements, we might see a similar announcement coming soon.