Thanks to the emergence of COVID-19, MWC 2020 was canceled just a few days before it was due to open, which made for sad phone nerds everywhere. We’ve also seen IFA 2020 twist itself inside out in its attempts to hold some sort of physical event during September, although we figure that it too will be forced to cancel the event thanks to the persistence of the virus. Today marks the first trade show victim of next year, with the news that CTA’s CES 2021 will not be an in-person event and will instead switch to a digital-only event.
You’ve got to give CTA credit for making the decision early, it means that exhibitors and the tech press won’t have the hassle of trying to cancel and refund flights and accommodation and being out of pocket as they were with the MWC 2020 farce.
“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, CTA. “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.”
Having previously stated that the show would be held in person, it’s good to see that the ongoing coronavirus situation in the US and the rest of the world has been recognized as something that isn’t going away just because it’s summer.
CTA says that it hopes to bring back the in-person aspect to CES in 2022, although it still plans to incorporate digital elements. The big question now is when the plug will be pulled on IFA 2020…