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NAB and E3 Events Called Off Due to Coronavirus

NAB and E3 Events Called Off Due to Coronavirus

The coronavirus racked up two more event cancelations today, as the organizers for both E3 and NAB have announced their events would not be held.

E3 is a major gaming convention that usually draws tens of thousands of attendees. Event organizers announced this morning that the event – which was scheduled to be held from June 9 to June 11 in Los Angeles, California – was being canceled. The group said the cancelation was the “best way to proceed” amid “increased and overwhelming concerns about COVID-19.”

After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.

Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.

Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.

We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com.

We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media, and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.

Meanwhile, the NAB – which is an annual trade show produced by the National Association of Broadcasters, and typically draws around 100,000 people each year – was also canceled. The event had been scheduled to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 18 to April 22.

NAB President and CEO Gordon H. Smith, in a letter to prospective attendees, said the event was canceled in the “interest of addressing the health and safety concerns” of stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry. Alternatives are being explored.

Dear NAB Show community, 

As you know, we have been carefully monitoring coronavirus developments both domestically and globally over the past few weeks. 

In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community. 

This was not an easy decision. Fortunately, we did not have to make this decision alone, and are grateful to our NAB Show community for engaging with us as we grappled with the rapidly-evolving situation. This Show is as much yours as it is ours, and it is important to us that we move forward together. 

For nearly 100 years, NAB Show has provided superior value and the best possible experience for exhibitors and attendees. We knew that if we could not deliver on those expectations, we would not move forward. More importantly, keeping the community safe and healthy is NAB’s highest priority; therefore, we are deferring to the developing consensus from public health authorities on the challenges posed by coronavirus. 

We are still weighing the best potential path forward, and we ask you for your patience as we do so. We are committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting where the industry can engage with the latest technology, hear from industry thought leaders and make the game-changing connections that drive our industry forward. 

I want to stress that despite our disappointment at how this year’s Show has been impacted by global public health concerns, we are more excited than ever about the future of NAB Show and our relationship with you. 

We are grateful for each and every member of our Show community. It is your passion for the industry that makes NAB Show a success year after year, and it is that same passion that will drive us into the future as we look ahead to new possibilities later this year and beyond. 


Gordon H. Smith 
President and CEO 

The twin cancelations come on the same day the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which traditionally takes place in June, could also fall victim to coronavirus fears. The event normally draws approximately 5,000 attendees, meeting at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

While the current meeting ban does not extend into June, Apple may still cancel the event due to an abundance of caution over fears of the virus.