It was simply a case of the perfect storm of factors that led to the announcement the 2021 CES would be an all-digital event. When you consider the insanely large number of attendees – potentially over 170,000, the fact this is an indoor event, and the international flavor of CES, holding the show would have been irresponsible. Add to this the fact the U.S. currently remains the hottest spot on the globe for the virus. It all spelled doom for the 2021 event.
“We concluded it is simply not possible to safely gather over 100,000 people indoors with a raging COVID-19 virus and no real hope for a tested and widely available vaccine by January,” Shapiro recently posted on LinkedIn. “The world does not need more COVID-19 cases, and we decided we would do our part by ensuring we are not helping spread the disease.”
Shapiro added, “When our executive board met last week and discussed this issue, we were driven by one mandate – to do the right thing. This mandate is right not only for our industry and its people, but for our nation and the world. We did not make our decision on financial or legal grounds, but on what is right.”
On his Twitter feed, Shapiro posted a video where he talks about how the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) will use this announcement, “to reimagine how we use our platform in order to bring our community together in a meaningful way and enable our exhibitors to meet their customers and reach new audiences.”
Further details regarding the all-digital CES format will become available as CTA continues to map them out. For now, CTA is telling the industry that, “CES 2021 will be a new immersive experience, where attendees will have a front row seat to discover and see the latest technology. This highly personalized experience will bring a global event to the comfort and safety of your home or office.”