With the ongoing public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies have cancelled upcoming events.
Microsoft is no different, having already cancelled the in-person Build event in favour of an online event. Along with Build, Microsoft has also cancelled its in-person MVP Summit and Inspire 2020 partner conference. However, the company could go much further.
According to a report from ZDNet, Microsoft plans to make its external and internal events for fiscal year 2021 digital events. The company’s fiscal year 2021 runs from July 2020 until June 2021. The news comes via sources within the company.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to ZDNet that the company would switch its events to digital ones for the remainder of 2020. The full quote is below:
“In light of the challenges presented by Covid-19, we are adjusting our event calendar and strategy. For the remainder of 2020 we are embracing the opportunity to experiment with new platforms to provide our partners, customers and developers the highest quality, digital-first experiences.”
Additionally, when asked about 2021, the spokesperson said “We will continue to evaluate the event landscape, but that is what we have to share at this time.”
ZDNet goes on to report that Microsoft officials began notifying internal teams on March 31st about the decision to cancel most of the fiscal year 2021 events. The company’s thinking is that by cancelling the conferences early, it gives teams more time to develop better digital events to take their place. However, Microsoft hasn’t decided to make every event in fiscal year 2021 digital.
Given that we don’t know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, this could be a wise move from Microsoft. The company appears to be getting out ahead of potential cancellations to ensure the replacement is optimal.