The Consumer Technology Association today announced that CES 2021, an event that was originally supposed to be a hybrid of in-person and online attractions, will now be held exclusively online. The CTA says the change of course is due to rising concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, especially in certain states and parts of the world.
“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 Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA. “Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic – and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences.”
According to the press release, CES 2021 will be a “new immersive experience, where attendees will have a front row seat to discover and see the latest technology.” The release goes on to repeat phrases similar to that one, and it doesn’t do a good job at specifying exactly how the show will be delivered to the tens of thousands of annual attendees.
Will there just be a bunch of virtual keynotes? Will exhibitors take you on a virtual toor of their booths? How will investors meet with executives? We know none of that.
Until more info comes out, the only thing we know for certain is that no one will be flying out to Vegas this year to cover the Consumer Electronics Show. The CTA acknowledges that it’s planning to host the show in-person come January 2022, but at least for this year, you’ll have to stay home.