Consumer Technology Association (CTA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro offered All-Digital CES 2021 virtual attendees his evaluation of the event on the eve of its closing day, characterizing the newly realized format as a “remarkable show,” while noting how the pandemic and its affect on CES’s reimagining had “pushed the digital transition.
“COVID has changed the pace and arc” of technology, along with having altered the 2021 CES, he said, telling the live-stage emcees in his remarks that he foresees the 2022 CES shaping up as both “a physical event and a hybrid event, both digital and physical,” combining elements of both: “hugs and handshakes and masks.”
With the addition of a new Convention Center building set to welcome back CES visitors in the flesh next year, “Vegas is ready for us,” Shapiro said.
The underlying premise of CES, he added, has not changed, even if the format, of necessity, did change in 2021, saying that it is and always has been attendees’ wanting to “connect, be educated, learn and network.” The 2021 show’s successful execution, he said, proved the industry could “get products out there and keep pushing innovation forward to improve the human condition…
“We took the opportunity to re-create our event and find new ways to connect people,” he said. “This was different than anything that’s been done before.”
Noting the significant role that Microsoft played in powering the show’s events and pacing, he added that “we were thrilled to go on this journey with a focus on connectivity and personalization.”