The physical version of CES will be canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Through a statement, the annual major tech conference that takes place in Las Vegas announced it will be canceling its 2021 edition, instead, the Consumer Technology Association, where companies such as Samsung, Sony, and LG are usually among the most high-profile attendees, said it still plans to hold keynotes, conferences, product showcases, meetings, and networking events digitally. The show will return to Las Vegas in 2022, the statement added, however, tourism for the US state will be hardly punished. The announcement comes just after the CTA said in June that it still planned to host physical events for CES in January 2021.
“With the growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” the CTA said in a statement.
The cancellation comes after major tech companies and event holders have been forced to shift their keynotes, gatherings, and events online throughout 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference online for the first time in its 30-year history, for example. The CTA’s decision to scrap the in-person version of CES is also further evidence that even as the US economy reopens, it will likely be a long time before large events resume in person.
Business Insider adds that with more than 171,000 attendees, the cancellation of CES is likely to have economic ramifications for Las Vegas. Beyond CES, Las Vegas has become a hub for conferences across many industries, and concerns had surfaced about the impact that canceled events would have on its economy even back in March. In 2019, 6.6 million people traveled to Las Vegas to attend conventions, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. In 2018, tourism brought $57.6 billion into Las Vegas.