CES 2021 goes digital, as physical event falls victim to pandemic

Published: 29 July 2020 - midnight

One of the biggest consumer electronics events in next year’s calendar has already fallen victim to the ongoing global Covid 19 pandemic, as CES 2021 moves to an all-digital format for 2021.

The show is usually held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in early January, but next year’s installment of the show will be run as a series of online conferences and interactive webinars.

"Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it's just 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 Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES.

“Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic – and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences," he added.

The online event will run from the 6th to the 9th of January 2021.

The US has confirmed more than 4.43 million cases of Covid 19 and has reported more than 151,000 deaths since the pandemic began earlier this year.

The decision to make CES 2021 an all-virtual event will inevitably raise questions over the feasibility of hosting other large industry events in the first quarter of 2021, particularly the telecoms industry’s flagship event, Mobile World Congress, which is normally held in Barcelona in February.

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