CES 2021: World's biggest tech show goes 'online-only' amid COVID-19
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 will not be taking place live, in Las Vegas. The event, often hailed as the world's biggest tech show, was scheduled to kick off in January 2021, but due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the health concerns stemming from it, the organizers have decided to cancel the physical event and move the show to a new 'online-only' format.
An 'all-digital' experience planned for CES 2021
As announced by the Consumer Technology Association, the upcoming CES will be an 'all-digital' experience. The format will let participants hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and connect with global brands and start-ups from around the world while being completely safe in their homes/offices. This is what Apple did to host WWDC a month ago.
"Not possible to bring people together in Las Vegas"
"Amid the pandemic, it's just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in January 2021 to meet and do business in person," Gary Shapiro, CTA's CEO, said in a statement. Notably, this comes just a month after the Association had indicated it hoped to host CES 2021 live with additional precautions like wider aisles and sanitation of booths.
No specific details of the digital event
That said, apart from confirming the shift to the 'immersive' digital-only format, CTA has not shared much about the event, which will run from January 6 to January 9. Shapiro only stated, "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."
In 2022, CES is expected to return to Las Vegas
CTA also added in its statement that it plans to move CES back to Las Vegas in 2022, provided the pandemic is brought under control by then. That event, the Association said, will combine the best elements of a physical and digital show, making a hybrid offering of sorts for consumer tech lovers around the world.