The Webby Awards gala is canceled
The Webby Awards, which celebrates the best of the internet, has canceled its 24th annual event honoring this year's winners. It was originally scheduled for May 11 in New York.
This year's nominees will be announced in the coming weeks and winners will instead be honored through some sort of online celebration, giving them the chance to still deliver their “Webby 5-Word Speech.” The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the judging body that puts on The Webby Awards, also said it will be launching The Webby People's Voice public voting in the coming weeks.
Claire Graves, executive director of The Webby Awards, said in a statement that the online celebration “will engage our community all over the world and will aim to be as inspiring as the winners themselves.”
Graves said The Webby Awards has been “monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak closely” and, given its impact, “our concern for the health and well-being of our community, plus measures public officials are taking,” the decision was made to cancel the awards gala in New York.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you,” Graves said. “We continue to be committed to recognizing and honoring the best of the Internet.”
This year's nominees were originally slated to be announced on March 31 but Graves said “a new announcement schedule will be released in the days ahead.”
“Despite these changes and the current global environment, we are excited to celebrate this year's Webby honorees, nominees, and winners,” she said. “We’ve been working with some of the world's most creative people and companies to help guide what The Webby Awards will be in 2020 and are excited to unveil our plans soon.”
Graves continued, “As always, we are committed to using our platform to help raise awareness for important global issues and civic engagement. There has never been a more important time to harness the power of the Internet to connect, inform, and support people.”
She encouraged companies and individuals “working on initiatives to help people at this time” to contact her “to see how we can share your work with the wider Webby community. We will continue to be in touch with updates on the show and announcement schedule. My thoughts are with all of you in this difficult time,” Graves added.
The Webby Awards each year judges best content across websites; advertising, media and PR; apps, mobile and voice; social; podcasts; and games.