RALEIGH – The global tech industry is being rattled by the coronavirus, some conferences have been cancelled – including one by Epic Games in Cary – and caution is in the air.
For example, Raleigh city officials, who are still planning to send a delegation to South by Southwest Interactive Trade Show (SXSW) in Austin from March 15-18.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and are receiving regular communications from the SXSW team in Austin,” said Jennifer Miller, Wake County Economic Development’s senior strategic marketing manager.
“According to SXSW, they are working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event. As a result of this dialogue and the recommendations of Austin Public Health, the 2020 event is proceeding with safety as a top priority. As long as the SXSW Interactive Tradeshow takes place, we’ll be there.”
Red Hat shuts down Toronto office
Red Hat, meanwhile, has closed its offices in Toronto until March 8 “after a person who tested positive for coronavirus entered another tenant space in the building,” according to The News & Observer.
The decision was made “to allow for coordinated deep cleaning of our office suite and the building’s common areas,” said Stephanie Wonderlick, Red Hat vice president of corporate communications, in an email to The News & Observer.
Red Hat workers have been asked to work from home, The N&O added, citing a Red Hat email.
A Raleigh startup prepares to decontaminate vehicles
Scot Wingo, co-founder and CEO of Get Spiffy, a national on-demand car care, technology and services company based out of RTP, also hasn’t taken action – yet.
“What we have done is, anticipating our overseas supply chain (mostly China) would tighten, we started accumulating much larger amounts of supplies [about three to four weeks ago]. That seems like it was prudent as now we are hearing things are very tight.”
He’s also making plans to protect both employees and customers should the situation take a turn for the worse.
“We actually do have several offerings that can help decontaminate vehicles. We also have an antimicrobial treatment that kills future germs including viruses from sticking to surfaces.”
Epic Games said it has made the “difficult” to cancel Unreal Fest Europe 2020 “due to uncertainty around health concerns and travel.”
The two-day conference for Unreal game developers was scheduled to be held in Prague from April 29-May 1.
It also pulled out of the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco from March 16-20, which draws tens of thousands from around the globe each year.
NC TECH monitors
NC TECH, meanwhile, is taking a wait-and-see approach. The organization is planning to hold the Diversity + Inclusion in Tech Summit on March 13 at the Sheraton Hotel in Durham.
“We’re following the developments of the coronavirus carefully, including preparing to ensure seamless business operations in the event travel is restricted,” an NC TECH spokesperson told WRAL TechWire.
“At this time, all upcoming NC TECH events are on track as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the outbreak and advice from public health officials, and will make alterations to the calendar as necessary to safeguard our employees and members.”