The next edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be an online-only affair. This follows an announcement by its organisers the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) that the world’s largest tech conference will take on a new format in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about the spread of the virus.
The announcement does not come as a surprise given that many major tech conferences and trade shows such as Mobile World Congress (MWC), Computex, Google I/O, Facebook F8 and many others have been cancelled this year.
Held annually in Las Vegas during the first few weeks of January, CES would normally attract large crowds of retailers, manufacturers, media and other industry professionals from all around the world. The normal order of the show would see many gathered in tightly packed convention halls which, under the current circumstances, is less than ideal.
“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it’s just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” said CTA president and chief executive officer Gary Shapiro (pic above).
The CTA goes on to say that CES 2021 will offer a “new immersive experience”. It, however, did not provide details as to how the online event will look like but claims that the experience will be highly personalised.
Based on the descriptions from the CTA’s press release, the organisers still aim to keep the show’s regular format of keynotes and conferences, product showcases as well as meetings and networking opportunities but adapting them for an online environment. The organisers hope that despite the shift to an all-digital platform for 2021, exhibitors will still be able to connect with existing and new audiences.
CES 2021 is slated to take place in the first week of January next year. The organisation said it aims to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, holding a combination of a physical and digital show.