CES 2021 has been canceled. And it’s bad news for the industry considering that the Las Vegas fair is the most important technology event of the world calendar.
CES 2021 should have been held between 6 and 9 January next year, but it cannot be. The COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 16.5 million confirmed cases worldwide, is behind a decision that may surprise considering that it is still many months away from its celebration. The organizer, CTA, should not be clear that the fair can be held with guarantees.
“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, simply it is not possible to safely summon tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person, ”CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement.
The health crisis forces and large physical conferences will have to keep waiting. CES is the most important of the year. Organized by the American employer of consumer technologies, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it usually has a dozen official venues including the Convention Center and the World Trade Center of the city of Las Vegas as the main ones.
It offers an exhibition space of 250,000 square meters, about 5,000 companies participate (manufacturers, developers, hardware providers, content and a long etc) and welcomes around 180,000 professional assistants (60,000 international) and the media that serve the information to a millionaire audience. We will have to get used to another way of holding large conferences.
CES 2021 and next year’s conferences
CES 2021 will «A totally digital experience» to be held on the same dates. A “highly personalized experience” that will include talks on “technological innovators” and product presentations, the strength of the world’s leading electronics and technology fair.
“Technology helps us all work, learn, and connect during the pandemic, and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring the technology community together in a meaningful way. By switching to a fully digital platform by 2021, we will be able to offer a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences, “promises the organizer.
CTA promises to return to physical fairs in 2022 depending on the pandemic situation and says it is working with all industry players for its celebration.
Not a good omen for next year’s conferences. We think, for example, of homeland fairs. The most important is the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, which should be held just two months after CES 2021. Hopefully the news from COVID-19 will improve and the world will have a vaccine because the current situation in Catalonia does not invite optimism.
The German IFA 2020 Special Edition fair, which will be held in September in a “physical” but very small format, will be a new path to explore.