CES, the world’s largest consumer-electronics exhibition, plans to hold its annual convention in-person next year in Las Vegas, a vote of confidence in live events amid optimism that the rollout of vaccinations is slowing the pace of Covid-19 infections.
The Consumer Technology Association, the trade group that puts on the event, said CES will begin Jan. 5 with at least 1,000 companies, from
Sony Group Corp.
, already signed up to show off their innovations.
The group moved CES to an all-virtual format for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that was a blow to the Las Vegas regional economy. CES is typically the largest event by exhibition space in the country.
CES will offer a digital option for some attendees next year, allowing them to take in speeches and product announcements from afar.
The roughly $11 billion U.S. trade show and exhibition industry is slowly returning to life after the pandemic forced cancellations of conferences and trade shows last year. Many organizers tried to convene events using digital options for attendees to meet with companies over video calls and navigate virtual conference floors.
In the virtual CES, exhibitors used interactive portals to present content, network with attendees and conduct meetings. The convention also had a live anchor desk to deliver news and conduct interviews on tech topics.
The in-person CES in 2020 brought together more than 171,000 people from 164 countries, regions and territories for a weeklong showcase in Las Vegas.
The Consumer Technology Association said it would review guidelines for coronavirus safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as from state and local authorities, in preparing for next January. With the event still eight months away, the group said it would adapt plans and share updates as needed.
The CDC this week issued a new advisory for individuals who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, saying they don’t need to wear face masks when walking, hiking, biking, running alone or gathering in small groups outside. It still recommends face masks in public settings indoors and outdoors where there is a substantial risk of Covid-19 transmission, including concerts, sporting events and other crowded gatherings.
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