Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Salesforce has cancelled its live Asia-Pacific World Tour event which was set to take place on the 4th of March in Sydney. It has instead replaced it with a livestream version that will carry keynotes and breakout sessions online.
In an e-mail statement Salesforce said “With the best interest of our customers, employees and partners in mind, we are changing our World Tour Sydney event on March 4 to be an online experience, due to health concerns around the coronavirus.”
The software vendor isn’t the only company or association to cancel events due to coronavirus worries. Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was cancelled; IBM withdrew from the RSA security conference in San Francisco; Facebook cancelled its March Global Marketing Summit; Cisco cancelled its March Cisco Live Melbourne conference; and Black Hat Asia 2020, a security conference set to take place in Singapore in late March has also been cancelled.
In a blog post from conference keynote speaker Pip Marlow (Salesforce Australia & New Zealand CEO), Salesforce provided more saying that health and safety concerns for employees, partners and customers bolstered the decision to move the event online.
Consulting with both local and global medical and security experts, the company wanted to understand what the potential scenarios were before making the decision.
The company has also said that Salesforce Sydney 2020 will not be rescheduled, with the online agenda being filled over the next week.
Salesforce World Tour events are free to attend and more than 12000 people attended Salesforce Sydney last year. Like many cloud platform sellers, Salesforce heavily relied on regional marketing and sales events to engage with prospective customers. More importantly, the face-to-face meetings are an important tools to retain cloud subscription renewals from current customers.
The Asia-Pacific market roughly accounts for about 20% of Salesforce’s overall revenue. Constellation Research founder Ray Wang believes that porting the live Salesforce Sydney World Tour event to an online streaming event won’t harm Salesforce’s bottom line, but that it will disappoint those that couldn’t make it to Dreamforce.
“Right now, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong -- no one's going there," Wang said. "In the big scheme of things, missing one World Tour stop is not going to change your revenue. But not having that event will affect revenue forecasts for the region."