CES, one of the world’s leading technology conferences, will take place virtually in January due to the coronavirus, a change from what was announced in May when a small event was planned in Las Vegas.
Tuesday’s announcement is yet another blow to Las Vegas, which, like many other American cities, is suffering economically as the pandemic is preventing the arrival of visitors. More than 170,000 people attended the version of the event in January, before the impact of the disease.
The southern and western states of the United States are being particularly affected.
In Nevada these past two weeks, the number of daily new coronavirus cases has increased by 27%. The state is the sixth in the nation with new cases per capita.
The pandemic has prevented the holding of technology conferences in various parts of the world.
The largest electronic fair in Europe, the IFA held in Germany, usually lasts six days and last year attracted nearly 250,000 people. This year it will last half, there will be no public access and it will be held in September. The Web Summit, a conference of internet companies that takes place in Portugal, this year will be held only virtually. The organizers hope to be able to hold an in-person event in Lisbon in December, but they will make a final decision in October.
The Consumer Technology Association, which sponsors CES, said in May that it planned to hold some events in Las Vegas next year, but plans changed as coronavirus cases increased worldwide, making it impossible to conduct a event in a closed space in January 2021, said CTA CEO Gary Shapiro.
There is also uncertainty as to whether employees of technology companies will be able to travel by plane. Google, for example, stated this week that its employees will work from home until at least July 2021.
The digital version of CES will begin on January 6 and will last four days.
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