While other large scale events have been cancelled or will go ahead under very different circumstances as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Consumer Technology Association has announced that CES 2021 will go ahead ‘in person’.
The CTA has now released a statement on its website confirming that the next CES event - the world’s largest technology based show - will go ahead ‘in person’ in conjunction with safety measures and guidelines that it is now in the process of formulating.
With major brands ‘committed for the show’ and ‘top-tier speakers’ to be announced, the CTA are keen to push ahead with the industry’s flagship event and its statement in part indicates that it will use the showcase to “highlight technologies that help provide solutions for some of the day-to-day challenges created by the pandemic.” The blog post also goes on to say,” We are encouraged that the collaboration of technology and medicine will create innovative solutions and save lives. And we believe events such as CES that bring thought leaders and innovators together to solve these challenges will be more important than ever.”
Given the scale of the annual event - 2019 saw 175,000 attendees and 4,500 exhibitors from all over the world, while January’s numbers were down only slightly - the task at hand to make sure those present can maintain social distance and ensure their safety in no small feat. It is, however, uppermost in the oprganiser's thoughts, “Your safety, security and health are always a priority at CES, and we continue to evaluate and expand the measures we put in place.”
As well as measures specifically for the exhibition itself, the CTA are talking to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and surrounding hotel venues to figure out the best approach to keep visitors safe away from the main convention centre.
While ‘in person’ indicates the continuing presence of some form of gatherings at CES, the organisers are promising ‘many other engaging digital and virtual opportunities’ for exhibitors to showcase products and innovations too.
Working to follow best practice under the issue of professional, federal, state and local guidelines, the measures announced so far include, sanitisation stations and regular cleaning of the environment, more space allocated for social distancing, the wearing of masks, thermal scans at entry points and the limiting of points of contact such as the expansion of contactless payment system for purchases.
No doubt there will be more announcements nearer the time regarding the final format of the show which now has to juggle the promotion of the latest advances in technology while ensuring attendee safety throughout.
Last month, the organisers of IFA confirmed the Berlin based event will go ahead, albeit under strict new guidelines that will see attendees by invite only and no members of the public allowed in, with many of the presentations and demonstrations as online only events.
What do readers feel about CES proceeding? Is it important these events go ahead to keep tech companies afloat in difficult economic times or is it just too much of a risk without significant changes as to how these huge crowd based events are run? If you were invited to IFA or CES, would you go? Please let us know you thoughts in the chat thread.
Source: CES Blog
Image Source: Medium.com