COVID Threats Brings CES 2022 An Unexpected End
Due to concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced that CES 2022 will end a day early “as an additional safety measure. “Despite cancellations from Intel, Microsoft, and other high-profile companies, as well as much of the tech press, CTA previously stated that CES 2022 would be held in person from January 5-8. Other companies have stepped in to fill the void, with the CTA reporting that “143 additional companies have signed up to exhibit in person” in the last two weeks, despite widespread public health concerns.
According to CTA, approximately 2,200 companies plan to present at CES 2022, and “construction of exhibitors’ show floor space is well underway.” This is most likely one of the reasons why the event hasn’t been cancelled entirely. It’s easier to end a day early than it is to halt construction right before CES 2022.
CTA CEO Gary Shapiro explains in an opinion piece for The Las Vegas Review-Journal:As we look to CES 2022, we confront a tough choice.
If we cancel the show, we will hurt thousands of smaller companies, entrepreneurs and innovators who have made investments in building their exhibits and are counting on CES for their business, inspiration and future. If we do not cancel, we face the drumbeat of the press and other critics who tell the story only through their lens of drama and big-name companies.
CTA’s response to competing priorities is to require CES 2022 attendees to be fully vaccinated, to have a negative COVID-19 test less than 24 hours before entering a venue, and to wear face masks at all times. CTA says it will provide attendees with a free test kit containing two rapid tests that must be completed if the attendee exhibits any symptoms.