IFA announced on Twitter that its upcoming 2020 conference will be affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but it’s not canceling the show. The Berlin government has banned events with more than 5,000 participants from taking place until October 24th, 2020 — well past the conference’s usual timing in September. Instead, the conference organizers say that IFA 2020 will carry on with “an innovative new concept.” It didn’t share more concrete language to express how it expects to do this, though it’s hard to imagine it means anything other than some sort of live stream.
Hans-Joachim Kamp, the chairman on the supervisory board of the company that organizes IFA, says in one of the tweets that the regulation preventing large events like IFA from being held have helped it, and the many exhibitors who might have been planning a presence at IFA 2020, to start making plans for what will replace the in-person event.
IFA 2020 is by no means the only tech industry event affected by the novel coronavirus. Several in-person conferences have been completely canceled, including Google I/O 2020, MWC 2020, SXSW 2020, Facebook F8, and GDC 2020. Others have pledged to host virtual events, like Oculus Connect, E3 2020, Apple’s WWDC 2020, Microsoft’s Build 2020, Gamescom, and more.