CES 2021 going all-digital; cites coronavirus concerns

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The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which hosts the annual Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) issued a statement today announcing that the event planned for early January is going all-digital.

“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,” said the CTA in a statement“An all-digital CES 2021 will allow the entire tech community to safely share ideas and introduce the products that will shape our future. You’ll be able to participate in all the awe-inspiring moments of CES wherever you are in the world. We are designing a unique experience for the tech industry.”

CTA said it’s working on a once-in-a-lifetime, “all-digital” experience that will include keynotes, conferences, product showcases, meetings, and networking.”

In early 2020, the CES drew over 180,000 people from around the globe to Las Vegas — CES is always one of the biggest tech events. The annual exhibition filled up the Las Vegas strip packing the halls of the Convention Center, Sands Expo, and every other meeting/event space on the Strip.

CES is perhaps the most influential tech event in the world and the “global stage for innovation.” Last year a Vegas-based media outlet estimated the economic impact of the annual show at nearly $300 million.

The coronavirus pandemic has since brought a wave of cancellations of events and exhibitions across the industry globally. The big tech cancellations started in late February with the scrapping of Mobile World Congress Barcelona.

It’s tough to do social distancing in packed exhibitions halls at an in-person gathering. Most people that follow tech Twitter, were expecting this cancellation.

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