After several companies cancelled on-site plans entirely for CES next week, the organization that runs the show announced today that the event will close one day early. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said CES 2022 will now run January 5th-7th “as an additional safety measure to the current health protocols that have been put in place.” January 3rd and 4th are media-only days when press conferences and keynotes take place.
Protocols include masks and proof of vaccination to attend in-person events. The CTA also recently announced that it would provide Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests at badge pickup. The association has asked attendees to complete a rapid test 24 hours before entering a CES venue. If someone experiences symptoms while in a CES venue, the CTA has advised them to report to a first aid station for testing. The organization says it will also provide PCR tests for any attendees who are required to have one by their destination prior to departure from Las Vegas.
In the last week, high-profile exhibitors like Amazon, Google, Intel, Lenovo, Meta and more have cancelled in-person plans for CES 2022. As part of today’s announcement, the CTA explained that over 2,200 companies will still show off their goods on the ground in Vegas, noting that it has added 143 more in the last two weeks.
CTA CEO Gary Shapiro has defended the decision to keep the show an in-person event as the omicron variant causes COVID-19 case numbers to surge in several parts of the world. “As the world’s most influential technology event, CES is steadfast in its pledge to be the gathering place to showcase products and discuss ideas that will ultimately make our lives better,” said Shapiro. “We are shortening the show to three days and have put in place comprehensive health measures for the safety of all attendees and participants.” Shapiro has pointed to the smaller companies that rely on the event as a potential springboard for products as a key reason for not cancelling the event. CES 2021 was entirely virtual.
“We will all be taking risks,” he said in a recent op-ed for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “But without risk there is no innovation.”