Shopify’s Annual Developer Conference Canceled Amid Coronavirus Fears

It's the latest live event to be scrapped due to health concerns

shopify unite info card
Shopify's announcement comes three months before the event was to take place. Shopify
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Key insights:

Shopify has canceled its annual developer conference, Shopify Unite, three months ahead of schedule because of coronavirus, officially dubbed Covid-19 by the World Health Organization.

In a tweet posted today, Shopify said only the “in-person element” of the conference is canceled, though it did not offer further details about whether the event would go on digitally or in some other form.

“Over the last two years, more than a thousand partners from all over the world have gathered in Toronto to hear about our vision for the future of commerce,” said a Shopfiy spokesperson. “Due to the evolving public health concerns around Covid-19, we’ve made a hard but necessary decision to cancel the in-person element of Shopify Unite this year. We believe this is the best option to make sure we don’t put anyone’s health and safety at risk. We’ll share more updates in the coming weeks.”

Started in 2016, Shopify Unite has become a showcase for the company’s latest offerings as well as its ambitions for the future. Last year, Shopify announced the Shopify Fulfillment Network in a move to compete with Amazon.

On an FAQ posted to its website, Shopify said, “More details about how we will communicate our product announcements will be shared on this site in the coming weeks.”

As the coronavirus continues to cause uncertainty around the world, more companies are likely to reconsider holding conferences. The cancellation of Shopify Unite comes after Facebook canceled its F8 developer conference, also held in May, on Thursday. Earlier this month, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was also canceled after companies began to pull out of the event en masse, citing coronavirus fears.

@itstheannmarie Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.
Publish date: February 28, 2020 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT