CES 2021 will be digital only, says CTA amid coronavirus concerns

A virtual reality coach helps a representative exercise using GEMS, Gait Enhancing and Motivation System, during a Samsung press event for CES 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

David Becker | fake pictures

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced Tuesday that CES 2021 will be a digital-only event due to continued concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

CES is the biggest tech show of the year, and it’s where major companies like LG, Samsung, and others often showcase new products ranging from televisions to refrigerators. Big tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google often use the show to talk about existing products that have recently been featured at independent events.

While it may not have a big effect on companies showcasing at CES, after all, they will still be able to advertise products online, it will hurt the Las Vegas economy.

CES 2020, for example, attracted 171,268 attendees from around the world. During the typically week-long event, those people stay in Las Vegas hotels, eat at restaurants, and play in casinos. Tens of thousands of casino workers have reportedly been suspended and may face permanent cuts.

“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it simply is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person, “said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said.

The CTA said it plans to return to a show in person in 2022.