According to the Wall St. Journal, “R.I.P Tech Conferences.” The evidence is circumstantial: Apple declined to attend MacWorld.
Apparently, Apple left a note, saying, it has been scaling back its involvement in conferences for years and that “like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers.”
Tech conferences began going on life support when Comdex, once one of the biggest conferences in the world, died. CeBIT in Germany is still alive as is CES, but attendance at that show, held the first week in Jan., seems to be down.
I think that large tech conferences are like dinosaurs. They are being replaced by smaller, more focused conferences.
I don’t know that in-person trade shows will be replaced by virtual conferences. Those don’t seem to have caught on yet.
Webinars are popular, but have not allowed the networking that some people need to do business.