CES 2021 will be an in-person event, to be held in the first week of January
Various trade shows, award ceremonies, and sporting events were canceled this year because of the coronavirus. Many have been delayed indefinitely. Others were held virtually. And while the pandemic seems to be slowing in Europe, new hot spots are emerging elsewhere. Despite the uncertain circumstances, the Consumer Technology Association has started planning an in-person CES 2021.
Per current plans, the trade show will take place from January 6 to January 9.
No one knows when the pandemic will end. The common consensus is that it could last into next year. Sure, it's spread might slow down, but a mass public event like the CES could result in a new wave.
CTA says it will adapt CES 2021 to enforce social distancing
The organizers of CES say they will take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and health of people. For instance, the show venues will be cleaned and sanitized regularly and touchpoints will be limited through cashless systems.
CTA also says that the aisles in the exhibit areas will be widened and seats will be placed at a distance from each other to allow for social distancing. The whole arena will be dotted with sanitization stations and attendees will be required to wear masks. Entrants will likely be checked for temperature as well and on-site access to health services will be provided.
Even with these measures in place, most people would understandably be wary of attending CES next year. After all, it's believed by some that CES 2020 helped spread the coronavirus and most people wouldn't want to take a chance.
For this reason, CTA also plans on expanding the digital reach of CES 2021 by offering a wider selection of live-streamed content. So, for those who don't make it, new products and technologies will be showcased digitally as well.
This makes you wonder why CES 2021 couldn't be an online-only affair. After all, to enforce social distancing, CTA would have to cut down the number of participants drastically anyway. A major reason reason could be the finances that are at stake. The financial impact of cancelling the MWC 2020 was huge and same would be true for CES,
There is also a possibility that that CTA is just monitoring the situation and hoping for the best. If things don't get better by January 2021, it might announce a last-minute cancellation or make CES 2021 an entirely digital event.
And lest you think CTA is selfish for even thinking about an in-person event, the association is quick to point out that the event would bring together visionaries to solve the challenges faced by the world today. We will also get to see technologies that will ease some of the challenges created by the pandemic.
As good as that sound, is it worth the risk?