IBM Confirms #RSAC Withdrawal Over Coronavirus Fears

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IBM has confirmed that it plans to not participate in next week’s RSA Conference in San Francisco.

Citing the “health of IBMers” as its primary concern, the company said it is continuing to monitor upcoming events and travel relative to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as part of that, “we are cancelling our participation in this year’s RSA conference.”

In a statement, RSA Conference said that “we understand and respect their decision” and that “RSA Conference is still planning to proceed as scheduled.” It has also confirmed that eight exhibitors have canceled their participation, six of whom are from China. Also, the number of individuals, including those from IBM, who have canceled their registration is approximately 0.79% of the total number of expected attendees.

In an update released last week, RSA Conference said that approximately 83% of its current registered attendees are from the US, as are 82% of the exhibiting organizations.

To deal with concerns, it has added several new health and safety measures for the event including: disinfecting registration counters and floors continuously throughout the event, offering disinfectant wipes at all check-in counters, in each session room for the speaker computers and microphones and adding hand sanitization stations and disinfectant wipes near each touch screen interactive campus map and wayfinding station.

The news follows the cancelation of a March Facebook conference, due to also be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, due to fears over the virus.

Meanwhile, Mobile World Congress, which was due to take place next week in Barcelona, has also been canceled after exhibitors including BT, Facebook, LG, Nokia, Sony and Vodafone pulled out of the annual event.

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