Despite concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Light Reading plans to go ahead with its Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference in Denver on March 16-18.
We are moving forward with this popular annual conference, now entering its 13th year, because the US government still considers the risk of COVID-19 to the general public to be low. Naturally, we are closely monitoring the situation to see if that risk assessment changes.
We are also set to run the event as planned because of the manageable size and nature of the event. Unlike recent major tech events that have been postponed or canceled, such as Mobile World Congress (which last year attracted almost 110,00 attendees), Cable Next-Gen draws about 500 attendees and does not feature large international exhibitors.
Plus, more than 95% of our attendees come from the US and the majority hail from in or around the Denver metro area. So cross-border and travel concerns are minimal compared to other tech events.
As a result, we have not seen a mass exodus of sponsors, speakers and registrants. As of this morning, just one sponsor (Intel) and a couple of speakers have pulled out, but the rest remain committed to the event and more are joining – three new sponsors and several new speakers signed up for the conference late last week.
Nevertheless, because we value the health and safety of our partners, sponsors, attendees and staff, we are doing everything we can to ensure that Cable Next-Gen will be a safe and secure event. Along with our parent company, Informa, we are following World Health Organization (WHO) and US Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) guidelines and recommended safety measures regarding the prevention and management of COVID-19, which is caused by a new member of the coronavirus family that's similar to SARS and MERS.
We are also working closely with the event host facility, the Embassy Suites Denver-Downtown/Convention Center, to ensure a safe and sanitary event. For example, the hotel plans to put out additional hand-sanitizer stations and intensify the cleaning of all common areas that people touch. We will also have gloves and face masks available for people who wish to use them.
Moreover, we plan to post reminder signs to encourage frequent hand washing and coughing/sneezing into sleeves. We will also promote a "touch-free" environment, urging attendees to avoid handshakes, hugs, business-card exchanges and other forms of personal contact.
Further, we will urge attendees to use sanitizing wipes to clean their phones, laptop computers and other mobile devices. Finally, we are urging anyone who feels sick or has been in contact with others who are unwell to stay home and rest.
We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates as needed. Thank you as always for your ongoing support. Hope to see you in Denver later this month.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading