In the wake of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, prominent technology conference producer O’Reilly has shut down its events business, permanently. From now on, O’Reilly events will be held online.
The producer of events such as OSCON (O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference) and the Strata Data & AI conference, O’Reilly noted in a March 24 bulletin the impact of the virus on its in-person events division. In response, the company recently switched its Strata conference, which was to be held in San Jose last week, to an online format, drawing more than 4,600 remote attendees.
“Without understanding when this global health emergency may come to an end, we can’t plan for or execute on a business that will be forever changed as a result of this crisis,” said Laurie Baldwin, O’Reilly president. “With large technology vendors moving their events completely on-line, we believe the stage is set for a new normal moving forward when it comes to in-person events.”
Baldwin noted that large technology vendors have moved events online as well. Microsoft, for one, is moving its Microsoft Build 2020 developer conference, originally planned for Seattle in May, to be all-digital.
O’Reilly employees who had been involved in the in-person events business have been let go. In addition to the events business, O’Reilly has a technology publishing business and provides interactive coding events and custom training.