I asked my family and friends recently when they felt it might be wise to start planning trips again, for work or pleasure. While a few hopeful people suggested the end of April, and others said next year, one colleague suggested August would be a good time to return to normalcy. The folks at Asia Gaming Brief & ASEAN Gaming Summit might have been listening, as they’ve announced the ASEAN Gaming Summit 2020 has now been postponed to September 22-23.
Originally scheduled for this month, ASEAN was one of the first conferences to have to be postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. On February 18, they announced it would be postponed to July 28-30, but would continue monitoring the situation. They then later suggested those dates might not stick, as event attendees might have to choose between ASEAN and an also postponed G2E Asia.
Now, they recognize there’s no way a July date makes any sense. “Unfortunately, things have got worse rather than better, and with the recent announcement that even the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to next year, it now looks as though the July date might still be too early for people to plan,” they wrote.”
In addition to announcing the new dates, they clarified that ASEAN Gaming Summit 2020 will now be two days, rather than three, and may feature no exhibition. In its place will be “alternative networking formats.” As many in the industry are likely stuck at home for the moment, I’m sure we’ll have a few ideas before the time comes.
The organizers remain cautious though, and recognize that even these dates might be too soon. “Of course, we do not have a crystal ball and cannot guarantee with certainty that everything will be back to normal by then, but we do hope that by then schools will be back in session and some level of normality will have returned,” they write.
This comes on the heels of several other group postponing their conferences, as governments around the world emphasize restrictions on social gatherings and travel. And while G2E Asia has postponed their next event to late July, the gambling industry is starting to get anxious that they might actually try to go through with it.