The coronavirus is still rampant around the world, forcing organizers of technological and digital events to adapt. Some opt for digital at all, others for face-to-face, and the rest for a hybrid format. We take stock.
In the world before, the digital and tech world flourished with conferences, exhibitions and events. And then the coronavirus went through there. 2020 was thus a long litany of canceled or postponed meetings. This has had effects far beyond: even events as irremovable as the European football championship or the Summer Olympics had to move.
Will 2021 be the year of return to normal? With vaccination, it is possible. In any case, the agendas are filling up again, even if some adjustments are required, especially for the earliest dates – because the rate of the vaccinated population remains modest. Moreover, some events have already passed, such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and BlizzCon, which were 100% online.
What about other conferences and exhibitions? Here is an overview of the main events to remember, with dates and format.
Google I / O
The conference organized by Google for its community of developers had not taken place in 2020. It returns this year on May 18, 19 and 20. Covid-19 requires, Google I / O can only be followed on the web.
Facebook also has its own conference, which this year takes the name of F8 Refresh. She couldn’t stand last year, again because of the spread of the virus. It will be a virtual event, that is to say 100% online, over one day: June 2.
At Apple, the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will also adopt an online format for 2021. The event, which is primarily aimed at developers, will run from June 7 to 11.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is usually held in Los Angeles in June and welcomes the big names in the video game industry, but also the public. Canceled in 2020, this huge show returns from June 13 to 15, but online. Access will be free.
In France too, there are exhibitions dedicated to tech and digital. This is the case with Viva Technology (or VivaTech). The event is scheduled to run from June 16 to 19. The home page suggests a hybrid format, both face-to-face, in Paris, and online.
Postponed to September, instead of June, then canceled in 2020, the Computex, which takes place every year in Taiwan, intends to return this year, in a fully online format (which has received the name COMPUTEXVirtual). It must run from May 31 to June 30.
Mobile World Cogress
Canceled in 2020 due to coronavirus, then postponed for several months in 2021, again because of the coronavirus, the Mobile World Congress must be held in principle from June 28 to July 1, in Barcelona, instead of its usual dates, in February and March. Despite the crisis, it is planned to welcome the public this year. But the format will be reduced and some companies will not make the trip.
The PAX festival is actually a series of events that are held throughout the year in the United States. These meetings bring together content creators, shows and exhibitions. The situation is variable: Pax East has been canceled, but not Pax West or Pax Unplugged, scheduled for September 3-6 and December 10-12. Pax Online will take place on July 15-18.
Game Developers Conference
The GDC (Game Developers Conference) is also choosing the virtual format for 2021, given the health situation. It is scheduled from July 19 to 23.
In Las Vegas, there is DEF CON, a major hacking conference. This year, it is due to take place from August 5 to 8. Nevertheless, the organizers do not seem to have yet stopped the format for this year: online, face-to-face or hybrid.
Gamescom has opted for a hybrid format this year: it will be possible to travel to Cologne, Germany, or follow the event on the net. Last year, Gamescom had to opt for a completely dematerialized format. Gamescom will take place August 25-29. Devcom will start two days earlier.
The IFA, or the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, is one of the major events of the start of the school year. It normally takes place in Berlin, face-to-face. This year, the homepage seems to suggest that will be the case. It will take place from September 3-7.
Open Source Summit
On the open source and free software side, the Open Source Summit is meeting in Dublin, Ireland, from September 28 to October 1. It is not clear whether it will be possible to get there physically.
The Next Web
The Next Web (TNW) conference takes place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It must take place this year, but late: the dates announced are from September 30 to October 1. The site promises that ” we will meet in person Suggesting that people will be able to go there. The event will also be online.
Tokyo Game Show
The Tokyo Game Show, which is somewhat of a Japanese equivalent of E3, will take place exclusively online this year, from September 30 to October 3. A presence will be authorized for the press and the influencers, in order to be able to approach the stands, test the video games and discuss with the exhibitors.
Paris Games Week
Usually, Paris Games Week takes place in September and October, depending on the edition. The 2020 meeting had been canceled for the reasons we know. It has not been announced if the event will return in 2021, on what dates and in what form.
In principle, the Web Summit is due to return to Lisbon from November 1-4. If the official site is relatively evasive, it seems that the event dedicated to the web can once again open its doors to welcome the public and speakers.
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