The death toll from the coronavirus around the world reached over 3,000 on Monday, with the total infection rate nearing 90,000. As the stock market goes haywire, and governments urge citizens to remain calm, a whole slate of conferences scheduled to take place in the next few months have been taken off the calendar. Businesses are limiting cross-country travel for their employees, so more cancellations are likely to be announced fairly soon. Could this lead to an uptick in virtual conferences through the medium of virtual reality? Let’s look into the coronavirus, cancelled conferences, and VR.
Conferences are Cancelled Due To Corona – Will Olympics follow?
As recently as this weekend large indoor gatherings have officially been banned by French authorities – including the shutdown of the Louvre, and cancellation of the Paris Half Marathon. This has even gone so far as to affect the crypto community, with Paris Blockchain Week being postponed to December.
Some of the other conferences that have cancelled include the Facebook Global Marketing Summit, Amnesty International Annual General Meeting, Zendesk Relate, and about 20 others. Unfortunately, these kinds of conferences are necessary to drive businesses and employees forward, and cancelling them is the last resort.
According to a report from The Guardian, the Olympics are also under threat. While nothing has actually been reported from their side yet, the rumours abound. Set to take place in Tokyo, Japan, it would be prudent for organizers to at least address growing concerns. How do they expect to keep athletes and attendees safe?
The Guardian says: “And so we now face a scenario so outlandish that nobody under the age of 80 can really describe it. Olympic Games have been cancelled before through world war: it happened in 1916, 1940 and 1944. They have been played out under the pall of human tragedy – at Munich in 1972 and Atlanta 1996. Even an Olympics without crowds – a ghostly, behind-closed-doors affair unfolding in near-total silence – has its precedent, as anyone who attended the Rio Games four years ago will attest.”
Where does that leave the rest of us? Could the largest sporting event in the world actually be cancelled? And what alternatives do we have?
VR – The fight against the Coronavirus has begun.
When it comes to the coronavirus, cancelled conferences and VR – virtual reality could very well save the day. Attending conferences in VR would not be difficult, nor would it impose any of the same health risks on those attending. In fact, it has benefits besides avoiding the spread of the coronavirus – it will curb travel costs, and improve employees morale (who wouldn’t rather attend a conference from home?), not to mention the positive environmental impact. VR conferences will likely be the next big thing – they just needed something like the coronavirus to act as a catalyst.