From O’Reilly President, Laura Baldwin

O’Reilly’s events business

It has been a rough few weeks as we’ve seen the COVID-19 virus take a toll on our livelihoods, our families and the world economy. People are losing their lives, and businesses are suffering in the shadow of revenue losses and a volatile stock market. The virus has had a material impact on O’Reilly’s in-person Events division as well. We previously made the painful decision to cancel our Strata California and Strata London events. Today, we’re sharing the news that we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel all future O’Reilly in-person conferences and close down this portion of our business. Without understanding when this global health emergency may come to an end, we can’t plan for or execute on a business that will be forever changed as a result of this crisis. With large technology vendors moving their events completely on-line, we believe the stage is set for a new normal moving forward when it comes to in-person events. We also know we are poised to accept that challenge, having already delivered a version of our Strata event on-line to over 4600 participants last week. With over 5000 companies and 2.5 million users on our learning platform, we look forward to innovating and bringing together the technology communities and businesses we serve in new and creative ways.

While our methods may change over time our mission remains constant. We strive to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. With content from books, videos, conference talks, interactive coding environments, custom training, and now on-line events, we already have all the tools we need to meet your goals…and ours. O’Reilly’s number one operating principle remains “is it best for the customer?”—and everything we’re doing right now is about ensuring we deliver on that promise.The many needs that brought customers to in-person events haven’t gone away; we have to adapt and find ways to meet those needs in new ways.

Some of the world’s greatest innovations have taken place during times of great crisis, and we’re here to help our customers be ready when we step beyond this virus and the economy begins to grow again. Today, our platform and our message are helping companies wrestle with the complexities of working from home or trying to keep online services up and running as they are hit with unprecedented demand, as well as helping individuals use this time to train and develop new skills. How about we move toward “Code and conquer” as our new mantra during these trying times?

Over the last 25 years, O’Reilly in-person Events have been a gathering place for the technology community to share new ideas and expertise, learn new technologies and make personal connections. We’re deeply grateful to all who helped make our events a success and that we had a chance to be part of this community for so long. We are sad that as part of this decision, we have employees leaving us today who ran our in-person events business with precision and grace. We thank them for all of their contributions.

Now, we look forward to the future and helping the technology community find new ways to connect and learn from each other even when face-to-face gatherings are impossible.

With gratitude,

Laura Baldwin
President, O’Reilly Media