CES 2021 will go ahead with a live show, but planners claim health is a priority

(Image credit: CES®)

Many tech events have been cancelled, postponed, or transitioned to a livestream-only affair amid health concerns surrounding Covid-19. Nevertheless, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) seems set to proceed as usual as an in-person convention in January 2021.

"While we plan to produce another in-person event in Las Vegas, we all face new considerations around attending conferences, conducting business and traveling to meetings. Just as your companies are innovating to overcome the challenges this pandemic presents, we are adapting to the evolving situation," the event's planners said.

The group overseeing the event maintains that "safety, security, and health are always a priority." Rather than postpone or cancel the event outright, however, several new health policies will be in play.

Highlights include regularly cleaning and sanitizing spaces throughout the venue, limiting touch points (this will include cashless systems for transactions), requiring that attendees wear masks and avoid shaking hands, and taking measures aimed at social distancing, such as widening aisles and placing seats further apart than usual.

One thing working in the event's favor is that the show is still seven months out. Businesses have already started opening back up, and it's possible things could be back to normal (or the new normal) by then.

That seems to be what the event's planners are hedging their bets on, anyway, versus there being an increase in COVID-19 cases between now and January. It's a difficult thing to predict that far out, though.

CES attracts large crowds every year. Including both attendees and exhibitor personnel, overall attendance hit 175,212 this past January. That includes 113,980 domestic attendees, and 61,230 from abroad.

It's a big event where companies have an opportunity to showcase their newest products and prototypes of upcoming ones. Whether it will be as big in January 2021 remains to be seen, and will depend on how many companies and media personnel choose not to attend.

Thanks, The Verge

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).