Coronavirus fears force One Club to take Creative Week online for 2020

The One Club is cancelling all in-person events for Creative Week in New York, including the One Show and ADC awards shows, taking them online-only over fears about coronavirus.

Creative Week, scheduled from May 11 to 15, is one of the biggest industry events in the U.S. and therefore the world, with the One Show one of the most closely followed awards programs. The week also includes the Young Ones Student Awards and typically includes an expansive schedule of world renowned speakers, presentations and other events and parties.

“Online versions of awards ceremonies and other related content are being discussed, with details to follow in the coming weeks,” said The One Club in a press release issued Monday morning.

“With so much uncertainty at the moment, the prudent step is for us to extend our stance of not putting people at risk,” said Kevin Swanepoel (above), CEO, The One Club, in the release. “We switched from in-person to online judging last week, and this change with Creative Week is driven by the same abundance of caution for the well-being of the creative community.”

While New York appears to be an emerging hotspot for Covid-19—with 106 cases across the state and 13 in New York City—it seems likely that other events around he world could be postponed in the weeks ahead. SxSW, another important event for the industry, was cancelled last week, and some upfront media events in New York have also been cancelled. As of Monday morning, Cannes Lions is still scheduled to go ahead in mid-June, though Northern Italy has been one of the hardest hit regions in the world outside China.

The non-profit One Club emphasized in its release that, while important, Creative Week is just part of its year-round event schedule and the organization is not entirely dependent on the week long festival.

“While The One Show and ADC Annual Awards ceremonies are highly attended events that connect creatives, they are outweighed by the combined audience for other One Club events held throughout the year such as ‘Here Are All The Black People,’ Portfolio Night, Young Guns, Gold on Gold series, Creative Boot Camps, Creative Leaders Retreat and many others,” reads the release.

“As health conditions improve and business travel resumes, we will have ample opportunity during the year to engage the creative community as usual,” said Swanepoel.

David Brown