As tech events are cancelled worldwide and locally, distributor Westcon-Comstor NZ is taking a different approach, making its annual Imagine showcase virtual.
Westcon-Comstor said it had been closely watching news of Covid-19 and the event cancellations over the last few weeks.
This was having what the the company described as "devastating" flow-on effects on the economy.
"As a result, we have spent some time assessing Imagine, and the safety of those attending, accounting for the policies that have been developed to help limit the spread of the virus, from both our company and those of our partners," the company said today.
"After thorough consideration and discussion, we have decided to change Imagine 2020 from a physical event, to a virtual event, fully embracing the technology we advocate."
The new event will be delivered via Cisco Webex Events on the same day as the original event – 14 May. Content will now be delivered as webinars as part of a one-day virtual event.
"We are a dynamic industry that leads by innovation and this is a perfect example of our ability to be agile and provide a high-quality event virtually, while remaining vigilante in reducing the spread of Covid-19."
Westcon-Comstor said its vendors were fully committed to the success of Imagine and supportive of the change.
David Grant, chief operating officer of Westcon International who was to attend Imagine 2020, will still provide a keynote address at the virtual event along with Dr Jordan Nguyen, a biomedical engineer and inventor.
“Our industry should lead by example, in terms of the ease at which people can work from anywhere, and still feel connected," said Dave Rosenberg, director of Westcon-Comstor NZ.
Westcon-Comstor said it understood a virtual event would not provide the same experience as a physical event, Imagine Virtual will be as interactive as possible with prizes for registration, a loyalty programme wrapped around the event based on attendance and interaction on the day, along with coffee carts, catering and branding at partner premises.
One benefit was that Imagine 2020 would be more accessible to a wider audience of partners and their customers.
Westcon-Comstor New Zealand will also be donating $1 for every webinar attendee to the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation.