Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 were already affecting technologists, as it led to cancellations of big events like SXSW, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society‘s conference and the Code for America Summit that are destinations for many, including folks in Baltimore.
Following the World Health Organization’s declaration that the novel coronavirus is a pandemic on Wednesday, the conference cancellations and postponements are also starting to affect events being organized in Baltimore.
On Wednesday night, the Nonprofit Technology Conference announced the decision to cancel its March 24 to 26 event at the Baltimore Convention Center. The event was expected to draw more than 2,000 people.
In an email to attendees posted to the conference website, host org NTEN’s CEO, Amy Sample Ward, said the decision came after talking to stakeholders, as well as the organization’s full staff.
“The consensus on proceeding with 20NTC has shifted today in light of the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a pandemic,” she wrote. “Organizations that hadn’t implemented a travel ban have now announced one. Given this development, it feels the responsible action to take is to cancel 20NTC.”
In light of the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a pandemic today, community members have encouraged us to reconsider the decision to hold #20NTC. Given this development, it feels the responsible action is to cancel. https://t.co/ijFtTzuVch
— NTEN (@NTENorg) March 12, 2020
The decision comes with a reality: It will mean a financial hit for the conference. It is providing refunds, but said that many attendees are also offering to donate their registration fee.
Plans are also being made ahead for April. DevOpsDays, the local iteration of an international gathering for folks interested in best practices at the intersection of software development and IT Operations, decided to cancel its event scheduled for April 21 to 22 at Inner Harbor’s IMET.
“Ultimately, the health and well-being of all involved is our top priority,” organizers wrote. “We had considered postponing to later in the year, but given the level of uncertainty and rapid change in this situation, we don’t feel comfortable committing to a new date.”
With sadness, we announce the cancelation of DevOpsDays Baltimore 2020. It was a truly difficult decision for our team, but our community's physical and mental health are our priority; it didn't feel right to move forward in good faith w/o more definitive info on COVID-19. (1/4)
— DevOpsDays Baltimore (@DevOpsDaysBmore) March 11, 2020
DevOpsDays said that with the decision to cancel now, it is able to offer refunds to attendees and sponsors.
The concerns have also led to decisions to postpone. BSidesCharm, a regional event that brings together cybersecurity folks for talks, trainings and other activities, rescheduled its event from April 4 to 5 to Sept. 5 to 6, which is Labor Day weekend. The event will be held at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. In the case of the postponement, tickets already purchased are automatically transferring to the date.
After careful consideration BSidesCharm will be postponed
The new event dates will be September 5-6, 2020
Your ticket will transfer to the new date automatically
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
For more information:https://t.co/aN7ssWo1r2
— BSidesCharm (@BSidesCharm) March 12, 2020
UPDATE (3/13/20, 1:25 p.m.)
A couple event moves to pass along:
- ETC is postponing its happy hour on “How to Finance your Startup: Advice from Real Angels and VCs,” scheduled for March 18.
- UM BioPark’s The Grid is moving events online, including Grid Pitch scheduled for April 20 and a Negotiation and Sales lunch and learn scheduled for March 31.
- Tech training nonprofit Byte Back announced a series of changes to classes: Classes scheduled to start March 16 and computer foundations classes will be postponed; professional-level track classes will shift to virtual on March 18.
UPDATE (3/16, 10 a.m.)
Startup Grind Columbia shifted its March 23 fireside chat with FounderTrac’s Ryan Sears to a virtual event. Sears, who is a cofounder of the Annapolis accelerator program, will speak in a talk titled, “Beyond Duct Tape, Bubble Gum, and Shrink Wrap. Turn Your Product Idea Into Profit.” Find special instructions to register via Zoom at the event’s registration site.
This list will be updated as new information becomes available. To send in info about your event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.