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CEO DATELINE – CES trade show still planned as in-person event

June 4, 2020
By Walt Williams

The Consumer Technology Association is moving forward with plans to hold its CES trade show early next year as an in-person event, saying it will take added measures to protect attendees from COVID-19.

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In an announcement on its website, CTA said planning is underway for CES 2021, currently scheduled for Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas. The tech trade show is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and a place where many companies showcase their new and upcoming electronic devices.

CTA was one of the few associations that held its major trade show this year before COVID-19 caused a tsunami of association event cancellations. Most summer and many fall events have been canceled because of the pandemic, although most groups with events late in the year and early next year are pushing forward in hopes the virus will be largely contained by then.

“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,” CTA said. “Just as your companies are innovating to overcome the challenges this pandemic presents, we are adapting to the evolving situation.”

The association is implementing new safety measures to minimize possible exposure to the virus. They include:

  • Regularly clean and sanitize spaces across the show venues and provide sanitization stations throughout;
  • Better enable social distancing, including widening aisles in many exhibit areas and providing more space between seats in conference programs and other areas where attendees congregate;
  • Issue best practices for attendees, such as wearing masks and avoiding shaking hands, and for exhibitors on product demonstrations;
  • Limit touch points throughout the facilities including through cashless systems for purchases and transactions;
  • Evaluate solutions for contactless thermal scans at key venue entry points;
  • Provide enhanced on-site access to health service and medical aid.

CTA also said it plans to use the event to highlight technologies that can help provide solutions for some of the day-to-day challenges created by the pandemic.