I was pretty shocked going into this week that SXSW, one of the largest conference/events in the US had not decided to cancel their conference. Given that just about every conference I’ve heard of in March has been canceled, it was surprising to see SXSW still planned to move forward.
Over the last two weeks a petition has been circulating to cancel the event given how quickly the Coronavirus has been spreading around the world.
When I woke up this morning I was sure the event would be canceled, honestly it was getting mind-boggling to me why they wouldn’t at this point. And just now the news broke, SXSW has been canceled.
I think this is a good move. It’s no secret that the US is way behind other developed nations when it comes to testing for the Coronavirus and many people (myself included) think that community spread is likely much larger than the numbers being reported right now.
Unlike China, South Korea, and Japan that have moved forward quickly with testing, the US has lagged behind massively, only now starting to ramp-up testing efforts. If SXSW were to have been given the greenlight I think it would have turned into the single largest breeding ground for the virus.
Having lived in Austin for three years I know how much the city depends on SXSW for revenue but at the end of the day they made the right choice and put health and safety first. It’s not going to be the same in Austin without SXSW but then again, I think we’re all starting to realize, it’s not going to be the same anywhere for a little bit while we try to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.
I lot of people have been asking about the impact the Coronavirus will have on the domain industry. Elliot from DomainInvesting.com wrote a great article about this today that I recommend taking a look at. I will be sharing my thoughts either over the weekend or early next week.