LAS VEGAS — The world's largest consumer electronic show, CES, has canceled the in-person portion of its 2021 convention.
The annual convention brings more than 150,000 people and hundreds of millions of dollars to Las Vegas every year.
The organizers of CES had announced in early June that it was planning to hold an in-person event with numerous restrictions and precautions.
Several people who attended the 2020 CES in Las Vegas told Scripps station KTNV that they believe they contracted COVID-19 at the convention, which was held between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10.
Although the "CES flu" has been common for many years, attendees described feeling far worse than in past years. At least one attendee in 2020 later tested positive for the coronavirus antibodies.
Additionally, several hundred Las Vegas union members involved in the show reported flu-like symptoms between December and February.
Previous CET attendess received the following email on Tuesday mroning:
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced CES 2021® — January 6-9, 2021 — will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders and media from around the world. The new format will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and engage with global brands and startups from around the world.
"Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it's just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic — and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences."
CES 2021 will be a new immersive experience, where attendees will have a front row seat to discover and see the latest technology. This highly personalized experience will bring a global event to the comfort and safety of your home or office.
For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation. CTA’s goal for CES 2021 is to provide an engaging platform for companies large and small to launch products, build brands and form partnerships, while prioritizing health and safety. Members of the tech community thrive by coming together, sharing ideas and introducing products that will shape our future.
Mark your calendars for the first week in January and be on the lookout for more exciting news about CES 2021. We plan to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, combining the best elements of a physical and digital show.
Thank you for your continued support. Please stay healthy and safe.
This story was originally published by Joyce Lupiani on KTNV in Las Vegas.