The CTA has now confirmed the news we were promised that CES will be returning to an in-person event back in Las Vegas in 2022.
CES 2022 Event
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In July 2020, the CTA (Consumer Technology Association) had the difficult decision to cancel the regular and most influential tech show of the year in Las Vegas and move it to a Digital only experience for 2021. Ultimately, it was the right choice as second and third waves of the Covid-19 epidemic swept across the globe.
Unsurprisingly, technology is what CTA does best and the digital #CES2021 was almost as enjoyable as previous years in Las Vegas and certainly more productive for many of the media! But as great and well delivered as the digital platform was, it could never replace the in-person experience.
Being able to meet not just the brands but also the people who imagine, create, design, and bring the new technology to market is possibly the highlight of my event year, along with getting hands-on with the travel gadgets that are yet to reach the shops. This is why I’m delighted to know CES is heading back to Las Vegas from 3-8th January 2022.
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Will it Happen?
Tech events are huge! Often more than 200,000+ people can attend any single one, all packing into conference halls and rooms, but that was pre-covid.
During 2020, MWC in Barcelona was the first to fall as Covid began to kick in. Then in July, CES was confirmed as digital-only for 2021, having already held its 2020 event just before the rise of the pandemic. A surprising change happened in September, though, when IFA went ahead in Berlin, albeit for c.600 media only.
Whilst I was surprised IFA went ahead, rates in Europe at the time were very low, and it was held under local health laws and the mostly European media who attended, myself included, were able to travel and experience the event safely.
This year, MWC moved its event from February to June and is still planning on going ahead as a physical & online event. However, personally, I think this might still be too soon for in-person and, IFA is promoting a full event in Berlin at the start of September too. So CES could be very achievable by Jan 2022!
What to Expect at #CES2022
In the announcement, the CTA confirmed CES 2022 will be a Hybrid event, a physical conference back at the newly extended LVCC in Las Vegas supported by a digital experience online. With the success of the digital-only platform this year, I hope the CTA keep an element of it for all future CES events.
We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas – home to CES for more than 40 years – and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces. Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.Gary Shapiro, CEO & President CTA
The CTA has confirmed over 1000 brands are already committed to #CES2022, including Amazon, AMD, AT&T, Daimler AG, Dell, Google, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Sony. But stopped short at confirming which, if any, will be setting up booths in Las Vegas or attend virtually!
Assuming all goes as planned, the Media only days for CES 2022 will be held on Jan 3rd & 4th, before Las Vegas opens up for the tech industry from the 5th until the 8th, this year running into the weekend. In Vegas. After more than a year of lockdowns!
All of this, of course, is based on the worldwide health situation, vaccination programs and any new curves. At the time of writing, places such as the US, UK, and Israel see numbers drop and vaccines increasing, whilst India is experiencing possibly one of the worst waves of the virus to hit a country.
So there will no doubt be more to come before any of us touchdown in Las Vegas next January.
Unlike MWC and IFA, which are both nearly upon us and some parts of Europe still struggling to get their curves down, CES 2022 and Las Vegas are still a few months away. This gives countries and the CTA time to continue monitoring the situation and implementing any new measures needed to make this happen.
As and when we return to large scale in-person events, it needs to be done as safely as possible. Yes, we all want to get back to normal but not at the risk of others health and wellbeing. I hold some hope for IFA in September but feel much more confident of a CES conference next January.