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CEO DATELINE – Consumer Technology Association to bring back live trade show in 2022

April 28, 2021
By Walt Williams

The popular CES trade show produced by the Consumer Technology Association will return to Las Vegas in 2022 as a hybrid event after this year’s show was forced online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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CES is one of the nation’s largest trade shows and a place where many upcoming consumer electronic devices make their public debut. Next year’s event will be held “in-person and digitally” from Jan. 5-8, with media-only access from Jan. 3-4, CTA said in a statement.

“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas—home to CES for more than 40 years—and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” CTA CEO Gary Shapiro said. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

Some 1,000 companies have committed to the event, according to the association. Attendees can expect to see brands such as Amazon, Dell, IBM and Sony, while Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge and Sierra Space plan to make their first appearances at the show.

The live events industry is showing signs of life after most events were shuttered during the pandemic. Still, many associations that had events planned for 2021 either moved them to the second half of the year or have pivoted to 100% virtual.  With its 2022 timeframe, CES will provide more time for businesses to overcome concerns about employee travel. The Mobile World Congress—a European technology trade show similar to CES—is planning an in-person event in June 2021 in Barcelona but has had trouble getting big tech companies like Sony, Nokia and Google to exhibit, according to news reports.

CTA is planning for at least part of CES to be an online experience. The CES Anchor Desk, which debuted during this year’s virtual CES, will carry on into 2022 and “connect the digital audience with exhibitors, conference sessions, keynotes and product announcements from the live event,” the association said.