RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM has cancelled the traditional form of its annual Think conference set for San Francisco and instead will put on what it calls a global digital event, citing growing concerns about the coronavirus.

The IBM Think 2020 client and developer conference was scheduled for May 5 to 7.

Red Hat, which is owned by IBM, also has called off its annual conference – scheduled in San Francisco – and is moving to a digital event.

Red Hat moves annual summit to ‘virtual experience’ amid coronavirus fears

“The health of IBM’s clients, employees and partners is our primary concern,” IBM said in the announcement.

“In light of global precautions for the COVID-19 Coronavirus, and building upon recommendations from the World Health Organization, IBM is taking a new approach to its signature events.

“IBM Think 2020, the company’s premier client and developer conference, will be recreated as a global, digital-first event, to still be held on May 5-7.”

Big Blue, which operates one of its largest campuses in RTP and employes thousands of people across North Carolina, said the reformated Think event “will be an exciting combination of live streamed content, interactive sessions and certifications and locally hosted events, which will highlight IBM’s technology and industry expertise for developers and clients without the risk of travel.”

Red Hat, IBM join growing list of big companies cancelling events over virus fears