TAITRA, the organization that puts on the annual Computex computer show in Taiwan, has postponed that this year’s event will be rescheduled.
Originally slated for June 2 – 6, the new plan is to hold Computex 2020 from September 28 – 30.
According to TAITRA, the decision was made in response to the impact of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken a toll on the global economy including “trade, transportation, convention, and tourism.”
As governments around the world are telling citizens to stay at home and slow the spread of the disease, it’s kind of tough to put on a trade show that’s typically attended by tens of thousands of individuals from around the globe.
Computex is hardly the first major event to be impacted by the coronavirus this year — MWC was cancelled. So was Google IO. Microsoft just announced that the in-person aspect of its Inspire conference is cancelled for this year. Apple’s WWDC will be an online-only event, if it happens at all. And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.
As I was writing that previous paragraph, a news alert came across my phone letting me know that the 2020 Olympics will now become the 2021 Olympics.
In the grand scheme of things, delaying a computer show in the interest of public health seems like a smart move. As of this morning there have been nearly 400-thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, and the rate of new cases is trending sharply upward. More than 17-thousand people have died after contracting the disease, and that number is rising as well.
But at this point, the pandemic is continuing to spread, and I have to wonder if things will even be “normal” enough in September to hold a show?
It’s unclear at this point just how effective the patchwork of efforts to slow the spread of the pandemic will be and how long it may be before governments lift restrictions on travel, businesses reopen, and people feel safe getting on airplanes and flying across the world to trade shows.
The economic fallout of the stay-at-home measures being implemented in many countries could also reduce demand for consumer electronics like next-gen PCs and phones for some time to come.