CES 2022 Marches On Amid Omicron, Shows the World How It is Done

Andrea Doyle, Executive Editor
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LAS VEGAS – More than 2,300 exhibitors converged on Las Vegas, including 800 startups from 19 countries Jan 5-7. In total, 160 countries were represented at CES 2022.

“We know that this CES is going to be different,” Gary Shapiro, President of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the show.

Different, yes, and impactful.

“With innovations in AI, digital health, transportation, drones, smart cities, digital assets, space tech and more — these technologies are making us better — improving what we as human beings are capable of doing,” Shapiro said.

In reaction to a surge of Omicron cases, CES ended a day earlier than planned, but business got done at the event Jan. 5-7.

There was a great deal of media coverage when companies like Amazon and AT&T dropped out of this year’s in-person CES. However, major brands including Canon, Panasonic, Samsung and health industry giant Abbott did exhibit demonstrating the importance and prioritization of face-to-face connection and in-person experiences. Serving the backbone of the industry, the number of small and medium-sized businesses increased as they took advantage of the opportunity to exhibit in person.

“For more than half a century, the tech industry has relied on CES to meet new customers, find investors, reach members of the media, connect with industry leaders and discover new innovations,” Karen Chupka, EVP of CES, said.

Bookings for the 2022 show are underway and include many top marquee brands.

“The electricity in the startup area, Eureka Village, was palpable,” Gabrielle Weiss, TSE VP and Editor-in-Chief, said. “I interviewed many of these small startups who were not only grateful for the opportunities CES 2022 afforded them to show their innovations, but the lift they got from their investment. It is clear that a lot of business got done on the show floor.”

CES Video

Mitigation Management

Demonstrating mitigation management — not containment methodology — concerning COVID safety concerns, all attendees and exhibitors were required to wear masks and be fully vaccinated against the virus. CES organizers also encouraged attendees to get tested for COVID-19 before arriving and were given a complimentary test kit made by Abbott Laboratories, whose CEO Robert Ford gave a riveting keynote speech.

Related. CES 2022 Adds Complimentary Rapid Tests to Strong COVID Mitigation Program

Those who were unable to travel to Las Vegas for CES 2022 had the option to join digitally. Digital registration granted access to more than 40 live-streamed conference sessions, keynotes, select Media Days press conferences and the ability to engage with exhibitors at CES.

The world took notice of how CTA pulled off CES. “By staging an influential live event that safely convenes thousands of global professionals across the technology, business and political spectrum, CES is nothing short of a model for how business trade events can and should take place in 2022. It is our sincere hope that other professional event organizers will follow their lead this year,” U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said. “Gary Shapiro and his team at CTA are to be commended for navigating today’s challenges while ensuring that attendees can build meaningful relationships and plan for the future of technology. The success of this year’s CES will contribute to the recovery of business travel, in general, and related industries. But of critical importance, it is producing jobs for American workers who are dependent on the safe return of all sectors of travel, which accounted for 1 in 10 U.S. jobs pre-pandemic.

 

Reach Gary Shapiro at (703) 907-7600 or gshapiro@cta.tech; Karen Chupka at (703) 907-7600 or chupkak@cta.tech