Covid or no Covid, the giant CES tech trade show is a go for the first week of January.
Convened annually in Las Vegas by the Consumer Technology Association, CES is one of the world’s largest trade shows. Held as a virtual event in 2021, CES will be back in real life in a few weeks, and the pandemic isn’t going to get in the way.
Some other events have begun to flip back to pandemic-era virtual proceedings in the face of a recent surge in cases. J.P. Morgan, which is holding its annual health-care conference the same week as CES, recently abandoned plans for a live event in San Francisco and will switch to a virtual model. But CTA President Gary Shapiro says there’s no change of plans for CES.
This morning, CTA announced that it will give all attendees Abbott BinaxNOW Covid19 self-test kits when they pick up their badges. All attendees are required to show proof of vaccination, and CTA is asking everyone to test for Covid within 24 hours of entering a show venue. The show will require masks in all exhibits, conferences, keynotes, and transportation facilities. “The test is easy to use, requires only a shallow nasal swab, takes 15 minutes and can be done from the convenience of your hotel room,” CTA said in the press release.
) CEO Robert Ford is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s CES, the first time a leader of a major healthcare company has taken on that role. CTA on Thursday also announced that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will give a keynote about the future of transportation. Other keynoters include
) CEO Mary Barra,
) CEO Mike Sievert, and Samsung Electronics CEO Jong-Jee Han.
“We are mindful of and following developments with Covid and variants,” Shapiro said via email in response to a query from Barron’s. “This week, one of our board members said he feels safer at CES where everyone is vaccinated than at the grocery store. Several major events have been held and many are scheduled in January with few if any of the safeguards CES has in place.”
CTA says that there will be more than 2,100 exhibitors at the show, which runs for four days starting Jan. 5.
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