CES, the world's biggest tech event, is going online only - TechCentral

CES, the world’s biggest tech event, is going online only

Attendees fill the lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Centre during the 2020 CES in Las Vegas, 7 January 2020. Steve Marcus/Reuters

CES, the biggest global technology and gadget show, held every January in Las Vegas, will be online only in 2021 due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, organiser the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said on Tuesday.

While big tech companies like Apple, Google and Samsung have separate product launch events and companies launching electronic gadgets at CES have generally been smaller, the event has been an important venue for technology companies and buyers to meet to conduct business .

CES is the biggest annual event in Las Vegas and cancellation will be a blow to the city, where hotel prices soar and roads clog with traffic during the event. According to the CTA, CES 2020 had an estimated 170 000 attendees, including 60 000 international attendees.

Gary Shapiro, chief executive of CTA, said the decision was made now to give companies and partners in Las Vegas time to plan ahead. “We don’t think there’s a vaccine that will be available and safe and tested that people are comfortable with by January,” he said.

Pricing for the online CES hasn’t been decided yet, Shapiro said. Tickets for CES this year ranged from US$300 to $1 700.

The digital CES event is scheduled for 6 to 9 January.  — Reported by Jane Lanhee Lee, (c) 2020 Reuters

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