The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced its decision to switch CES 2021 to be an all-digital experience.
Last month, the CTA quietly announced that it intended to hold CES 2021 as an in-person event running Jan. 6-9. At the time, the website stated, “While we plan to produce another in-person event in Las Vegas, we all face new considerations around attending conferences, conducting business and traveling to meetings.” Now the decision has been reversed.
“With the growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” the CTA explained in a news release today. The trade show still intends to hold keynotes and conferences, product showcases, as well as hosting meetings and networking events, it’s just that they will all be done remotely.
CES typically attracts around 175,000 visitors each year, but an all-digital event is sure to attract considerably more. The CTA has five months left to prepare for that scenario, as well as organizing the schedule and working with all the different brands remotely to plan when and how products will be revealed and keynotes live streamed.
Anyone disappointed they won’t be taking a trip to Las Vega in January will be glad to hear the CTA say, “We plan to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, combining the best elements of a physical and digital show.” It does sounds as though CES might be changed forever, though, depending on how well the 2021 show lands with a global audience.