The consumer electronics show CES will be digital only next year because of the coronavirus crisis. "In the midst of the pandemic, and given the increased health risks worldwide, it is simply not possible to safely gather tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021", Gray Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), said Tuesday in Arlington, Virginia. The U.S. consumer electronics industry association has hosted the show for more than 50 years. At last count, more than 170.000 trade visitors to Las Vegas.
Most recently, CTA had planned to downsize CES due to stringent caveats and add a companion digital program. The association expected that the many international visitors could not travel to the rough part. Furthermore, it is not yet foreseeable when the U.S. government will again allow entry from risk areas, which Washington also counts the EU among. U.S. embassies in some countries have also just started processing visa applications again.
Let no one say CES is not a trendsetter: the breathing mask scarf "Wair" with air filter and air filter was showcased at CES 2017.
No Vegas, baby
Digital CES 2021 is expected to offer opportunities for exhibitors to showcase new products, in addition to broadcasting keynotes and conference proceedings. Trade visitors and media representatives will also be able to exchange ideas and network via digital formats. "Technology is helping us work, learn and network in the pandemic", said Shapiro. "These innovations are now also helping to reinvent CES and bring the tech community together."
With this, the CTA provides timely clarity. CES is one of the world’s largest IT-related trade shows, along with MWC, Computex and IFA. The 2020 show, which traditionally begins in the first weeks of January, was the last rough event to take place despite the looming coronavirus epidemic. Just over a month later, the mobile phone association GSMA had cancelled the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, other events followed. The Hanover Fair also did not take place this year.
The IFA Berlin tries it with the initially also for the CES thought mixed form. The show is to be held in early September as four separate event areas with strict attendee limits, supplemented by an extensive digital program. The experiment of the "IFA Special Edition" is being watched with excitement by trade visitors, but not all exhibitors like it. Samsung – one of the most important exhibitors at the show – has already cancelled. According to reports, other electronics giants are also still mulling it over.