What’s supposed to be another return for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to in-person conferences may not pan out as originally planned.
Many of the annual technology show’s top exhibitors have already announced that they’re pulling out of in-person conferences, citing the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. brought about by the spread of the omicron variant. These include Amazon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Meta, Twitter, Pinterest and iHeartRadio, among others. Several major tech news outlets have similarly said they’re dropping out and opting to attend the show virtually, such as The Verge, CNET, TechCrunch and Engadget, to name a few.
For other companies like Intel, LG, Panasonic and Sony, the decision of whether to attend is still up in the air. Intel in particular usually has a major presence on the show floor, but, as The Verge reports, that won’t be the case this year. Replacing Intel are Canon, Razer and other smaller companies.
Sony and LG, meanwhile, said that, as of Tuesday, they still plan to attend. Also attending are Qualcomm, OnePlus and HTC. At the same time, the likes of Samsung and AMD plan to have a limited presence.
Despite the cancellations, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organizers behind the show, stated that they plan to push forward with the in-person event, noting that they are putting extra precautions in place.
All attendees will have to be fully vaccinated and return a negative test in the last 24 hours upon entering the convention gates. The organizers added that attendees will also have to use the rapid tests that they will be handing out.
“At this point, we’re very much focused on having this show and doing it safely and putting the right protocols in place to ensure that people feel comfortable with it,” the CTA told Adweek.
CES 2022 is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on 5-8 January. The show is often touted as one of the largest trade fairs in the world, where hundreds of companies and tens of thousands of attendees converge to sample the latest in consumer technology.