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Nvidia: GTC Event Still On, Will Include Coronavirus Precautions

Dylan Martin

'It's one of our most important events, and we plan to host it, and we believe it will be just as important, if not bigger than the ones we've had one the past,' Nvidia exec Craig Weinstein says of the chipmaker's flagship GPU Technology Conference.


Nvidia said its GPU Technology Conference is still on track to happen in March despite rising concerns about a coronavirus outbreak in the United States. However, the company said it's implementing several precautionary measures to ensure attendees' healthy and safety.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's GPU Technology Conference, or GTC, is set to happen March 22-26 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. More than 10,000 attendees are expected to converge for programming focused on Nvidia GPU solutions for data center, visualization and artificial intelligence workloads, among other things.

[Related: IDC Forecasts Steeper Drop In 2020 PC Sales Due To Coronavirus]

"GTC is definitely on," said Craig Weinstein, vice president of Nvidia's Americas organization, in an interview with CRN on Tuesday. "With the coronavirus, there were some concerns about other events around the world. It's one of our most important events, and we plan to host it, and we believe it will be just as important, if not bigger than the ones we've had one the past."

On Wednesday night, Nvidia added a page to its GTC website addressing the measures the company and the convention center are taking to address concerns about coronavirus. They include: the use of electrostatic sprayers to disinfect high-traffic areas daily, frequent disinfection of all common touch areas such as door handles and stair railings and a significant increase in the deployment of hand sanitizers throughout the convention center.

The company said it's also holding daily pre-shift safety meetings for employees, working with the city of San Jose to ensure local hotels and venues are increasing cleanliness and hygiene regions, and asking exhibitors to regularly disinfect demonstration systems and other areas touched by attendees.

In addition, Nvidia is asking attendees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw it away, and avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth with untouched hands. The company also said attendees should stay home or at their hotel if they have any symptoms of illness.

The company said the measures are based on practices set out by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"NVIDIA is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation, which remains fluid," the company said on the web page. "The health and safety of GTC attendees and exhibitors is our top priority, and we are implementing appropriate precautionary measures."

Nvidia's plan to hold GTC as scheduled comes as some vendors cancel or postpone conferences or conference appearances in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Most recently, HP announced it would postpone its annual partner conference, Reinvent, while the RSA Conference 2020 went on this week in San Francisco despite cancellations from IBM, Verizon and other companies.

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