CES, one of the world’s largest tech events, will be fully virtual next year amid continued concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The Consumer Technology Association announced the change Tuesday after previously saying CES 2021 would continue to be an in-person event, with additional virtual and digital experiences.
“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 CTA, in a release Tuesday.
The CTA said it plans to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022.
After trying to put on a brave face, CES bowed to reality with a justifiable overabundance of caution and made this announcement well in advance so that everyone involved can bet prepared for a very different CES. Will it return to in-person in 2022? That will depend entirely on how successful the virtual 2021 show is perceived by CTA.