[REVIEW] : CES 2022: towards an imminent cancellation…?

In 2020, we will remember, the COVID-19 pandemic was right at all events and other fairs around the world as of March. In 2021, many were hoping for a return to “normal life”, but once again many appointments were canceled. However, in 2022, for sure, life will resume its course, starting with a very real CES 2022. At least that’s what some hope, but the stars still don’t seem able to align …

CES 2022 (still) in difficulty

Indeed, if the organizers of the Geneva Motor Show announced the cancellation of the 2022 edition a few months ago, the teams of CES in Las Vegas, the first technological meeting of the year, intend to revive the event. At present, CES 2022 is still relevant today, with an “old-fashioned” show, understand with journalists and professionals finally reunited physically, as of January 3.

However, many brands and other media have already canceled their attendance at the event. Indeed, Amazon (and its subsidiary Ring) have already canceled their presence, just like the American giant of the telephony T-Mobile, but also Meta (Facebook, WhatsApp …), not to mention a reduced presence at Samsung or still Qualcomm. On the media side, TechCrunch, TechRadar, Engadget or The Verge, just like Marques Brownlee, will not be covering the event on site.

On the side of France, the La Poste group, yet a regular in the aisles of CES, will not be part of the game. This is not the case for all of “French tech”, since we are talking about 140 start-ups present on site, just like some French manufacturers of the Stellantis group, in particular Citroën. In January 2020, more than 400 French companies took part in Las Vegas.

Officially, CES 2022 should open its doors in ten days now, but the cascading cancellations, coupled with the very complicated health situations in many countries around the world, mean that it could very well be canceled in the days to come. So suspense …

The CES wants to hold its show despite Omicron, but not the brands

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has yet to deter CES organizers. But brands are starting to withdraw.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is due to be held from January 5 to 8, 2022, a major trade fair where high-tech companies from all over the world come to present their latest products and innovations. But while the event must take place in less than two weeks, the virulence of the Omicron variant could call everything into question.

The latest development of the coronavirus does indeed seem particularly contagious. The latest estimates of the spread of the variant show, according to an NBC News summary on December 21, that it is the cause of 73% of new cases of covid-19 in the United States. In France, according to CovidTracker, Omicron represents more than 10% of new cases (38% in Paris).

Under these conditions, it seems less and less certain that the show, which describes itself as “the most influential tech event in the world”, can be held face-to-face in good sanitary conditions – this kind of large gathering indeed. lots of people from very different backgrounds. In fact, the CES seems conducive to being a super-cluster.

According to the latest news, it is not in the plans of the CES organizers to switch to a remote format, with videoconferencing, or even to cancel anything. In any case, this is the speech that was held on December 21 in Adweek by one of the senior officials of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes the CES every year.

“At this point, we’re very focused on running this salon and how to do it safely and have the right protocols in place to make people feel comfortable with this salon. We’ve worked with our board of directors, with different health advisory groups; we talked to the exhibitors, and we asked them what was working ”.

Lenovo and Amazon have canceled their visit to CES

But on the brand side, it’s the stampede. The most recent example came on December 23 from Lenovo, the Chinese laptop manufacturing giant. The group no longer intends to be physically present at the show. Instead, he intends to present his products on January 4 and 5, presumably by broadcasting a video or taking a live.

Despite serial cancellations, CES will take place

The hard knocks associated with covid-19 are yet to affect the Consumer Electronics Show, which is holding up and maintaining its physical edition, for the time being.

The more the days go by, the more the CES 2022 takes on the air of MWC. Remember last year, the Barcelona trade fair was forced to display closed doors, faced with a complicated health situation and the successive cancellations of its speakers. Almost two years later, the world is tending to return to a normal rhythm, and it is now towards the CES that all eyes are turning. After a 2021 edition entirely online, the biggest technological fair of the year had promised to come back face-to-face in 2022. A project that could be strongly compromised with the arrival of the Omicron variant, and the resurgence of contaminations.

Serial cancellations

The first cancellations started with Twitter, Meta or even Pinterest. More recently, it was the giants Amazon and T-Mobile who confirmed their absence from the show. Despite serial cancellations which could jeopardize the good organization of the show, the CTA, in charge of the organization of the show, continues to hold out, and always relies on a physical edition within a few weeks. In a statement, the Consumer Technology Association promises “solid security measures in place”, coupled with online access “for people who do not want or can not go to Las Vegas”.

To compensate for 42 cancellations occuring earlier in recent months, the CES organizer has also taken the lead. The 7% of its floor space left empty will thus be filled by 60 new exhibitors. At the same time, the company was delighted to record “thousands of additional registrations” every day on the visitor side.

Reinforced security measures

Obviously, the physical organization of the show will also have to respond to a strict health protocol, reminds the CTA. With several thousand people expected each day, it will be necessary to certify a complete vaccination (with third booster dose) to attend the show. Masks will remain compulsory, and screening kits will be made available on request, or in the event of symptoms. For the moment, therefore, no cancellation in sight in Las Vegas. Remember, however, that CTA’s decision is above all subject to approval by local authorities. So things can still change.

The shadow of cancellations hangs over CES

In a pandemic context still as complicated for the organization of physical events, aggravated by the expansion of the Omicron variant, many tech giants such as Meta or Amazon have decided to cancel their visit to CES 2022. The biggest names specialist media have also announced that they want to cover the event remotely. What to fear a cancellation of the show, scheduled from January 5 to 8 in Las Vegas. This would be the second consecutive cancellation for CES.

Like every year, at the beginning of January, the biggest technology companies were to meet at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas to present their latest innovations to the general public. But now, after a cancellation of the physical edition in 2021, following the Covid, that of 2022 risks meeting the same fate. Many withdrawals have recently been announced.

Several giants have expressed their intention not to send their employees to physics. Amazon, Meta, Twitter, Pinterest, T-Mobile, AT&T or even TikTok have announced that they will not attend this edition. Samsung, meanwhile, did not make a commitment, but said it was considering a smaller delegation on site, “The health and safety of our employees and attendees is our top priority for CES 2022” .

A number of big names in tech media like The Verge, TechCrunch or Engadget are also planning to cover the show entirely remotely. A real snub for the event due to be held in just two weeks.

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