CES 2021 will be an all-digital event due to coronavirus concerns

We’re just about to wrap up July in the year 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic still going, and companies are still taking precautions for events happening months from now.

For instance, the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, has just confirmed in a press release today that the upcoming event, which is due to take place in the beginning of January of next year, will be an “all-digital experience” when it rolls around. The folks behind the CES curtain were originally planning to host an in-person event, just like it normally would if there weren’t a global pandemic happening, but as things have changed so has the organization’s strategy.

This makes sense, of course, because CES traditionally sees Las Vegas gain about 200,000 new people due to the event. So making sure that isn’t the case in early 2021, when it’s possible that the fight against the coronavirus is far from over, is the right thing to do. And, for what it’s worth, CES organizers have been sending out emails over the last few weeks, looking for feedback from those who actually visit the show to see what they thought of hosting an in-person event early next year.

From the press release:

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.

Within the announcement, which also includes a video from Shapiro, CES 2021 is billed as a “highly personalized experience”, and says that virtual attendees will have a “front row seat” to all of the newest tech set to debut at the show. It’s also being described as a “new immersive experience”, so it will be interesting to see what this all looks like several months from now.

CES 2021, the new all-digital experience, will take place the first week of January next year.

Declaring the shift in strategy this early is also meant to give companies time to work with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) for the virtual format for next year’s CES. Getting everything in order so they can show off their product in the best way possible.