CES set to return to Las Vegas in January

CES, Las Vegas’ largest annual trade show, is set to return to town in January.

The show is set for Jan. 6 to 9 in Las Vegas, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s Twitter account.

Planning is already underway and major brands have committed to the show, a statement on CES’s website says.

“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,” the statement reads. “Just as your companies are innovating to overcome the challenges this pandemic presents, we are adapting to the evolving situation. And we want to ensure CES continues to help you make the connections you need to grow your business and your brand.”

It’s still unclear when the novel coronavirus first entered Nevada, but a 2020 CES attendee said he developed flu-like symptoms after the early January conference and later tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

The first American to test positive for the virus didn’t emerge until Jan. 21: a man in Washington state who had traveled to Wuhan, China.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA, which owns and produces CES, has said the association is not aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the event. He said his team was taking concerns seriously that the virus could have been present at the conference, which drew more than 175,000 people to Las Vegas — including more than 61,000 from outside the U.S.

CTA plans to expand the show’s digital reach amid the pandemic, with more livestreamed content and “other engaging digital and virtual opportunities.”

Products — some of which aim to provide solutions for day-to-day challenges created by the pandemic — will be showcased both physically in Las Vegas and digitally.

Safety is paramount for producers, according to the statement. The association is “working closely” with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority — which houses the CES show — and local hotels, as well as event industry associations on best practices.

“Your safety, security and health are always a priority at CES, and we continue to evaluate and expand the measures we put in place,” the statement reads. “We will ensure our plans follow the recommendations of public health experts and standards set by the federal, state and local governments.

New protocols include regularly cleaning and sanitizing spaces across show venues, santitation stations spread across the show floor, widening aisles and spacing out seats to allow for social distancing, using cashless purchasing systems, thermal scans at entry points, on-site access to health services and medical aid, and more.

CTA said it will continue to update and share its reopening plans.

“The meetings world is developing and implementing best practices, and we will assess and evaluate the latest solutions in the coming months,” the statement reads. “We are encouraged that the collaboration of technology and medicine will create innovative solutions and save lives. And we believe events such as CES that bring thought leaders and innovators together to solve these challenges will be more important than ever.”

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