Coronavirus-Related Conference Cancelations Hit Gartner Earnings

Gartner's decision to cancel or postpone multiple Q1 2020 conferences amid coronavirus concerns will cost the technology research firm roughly $36 million of adjusted EBITDA, Gartner disclosed today.

The disclosure shows the financial pain conference organizers face as they weigh whether to cancel or proceed with conferences that may risk attendee, speaker and employee health.

Related: Complete list of Canceled Technology Events Due to Coronavirus Concerns.

The canceled or postponed Gartner Q1 2020 events include the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in London and the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Texas, as well as some other smaller conferences, the firm indicated.

In a prepared statement about the financial hit, the researcher said:

"Gartner estimates the first quarter 2020 financial impact from cancelling or postponing conferences will be approximately $36 million of Adjusted EBITDA, with the largest impact from the Data & Analytics Summit in Texas. This is Gartner’s current estimate as of the date of this announcement, and the ultimate adverse financial impact from these cancellations and postponements may be affected by a number of factors, including, among others, our ability to reschedule these conferences later in the year, our ability to recoup certain costs already expended on these conferences, and our ability to obtain reimbursement under our insurance policies. Additionally, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 remains difficult to project given uncertainty related to its magnitude, duration, geographic reach, impact on the global economy and potential travel restrictions."

Among the company's next plans steps:

  • Gartner will seek to reschedule some conferences later in 2020 where feasible.
  • Conferences scheduled for the second quarter of 2020 and beyond are currently expected to proceed as planned, though each conference's sstatus will be determined on  a "case-by-case basis, with Gartner’s highest priority being the health and safety of all those involved."

Gartner expects to further discuss the company's financial status and performance during a Q1 2020 earnings call in early May 2020, the firm said.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.