CES Goes Virtual, No In-Person Event Scheduled for 2021
Organizers of the Consumer Electronics Show announced the 2021 event will be online-only.
Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, feelings of uncertainty still influence large decisions impacting people all over the world. Perhaps the largest changes impacting security professionals is that of large scale events being cancelled or turned virtual. The latest in a string of conferences to be turned digital is the Consumer Electronics Show, an annual trade show touted for being the global stage of innovation for all consumer products.
CES CEO Gary Shapiro announced on July 28, that CES 2021 would no longer be an in-person event and instead, asked attendees to, "get ready for a new immersive experience where you'll have a front row seat to the action." Though the event had an optimistic schedule of January 2021, organizers felt uneasy gathering thousands of people in Las Vegas.
"We concluded it is simply not possible to safety gather over 100,000 people indoors with a raging COVID-19 virus and no real hope for a tested and widely available vaccine by January," Shapiro said. "The world does not need more COVID-19 cases, and we decided we would do our part by ensuring we are not helping the spread of the disease."
For now, the virtual event is set for the first week of January, with more news about the "immersive experience" coming soon. Looking to the future, however, Shapiro is confident that CES 2022 will return to Las Vegas, with even some included elements of the virtual show.