Numerous major tech companies confirmed that they would not attend CES next year. Organizers plan the annual tech conference to take place in Las Vegas in January.
Withdrawals Caused by Omicron Fears
Amazon, Meta, Twitter, Lenovo, and T-Mobile are among the larger established tech firms that announced their physical withdrawals from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), billed for January. The annual trade show is one of the most anticipated in the tech industry calendar, hosting tens of thousands of participants.
The tech giants all cite increased rates of COVID-19 cases in the US as the reason for their pullouts. This is despite assurances by the event organizers that they would take adequate health and safety precautions. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant is the primary concern of participants.
Prominent publications like CNET, TechCrunch, and The Verge have also indicated that they will not take part in person at the event.
While held only remotely last year, this year’s event will concurrently run physical and digital events.
The Show Must Go On
In response, CES organizers insisted that the event still occurs as planned. Jean Foster, head of marketing and communications for conference organizers, CTA, downplayed the withdrawals in a statement to The Verge.
“While we have recently received 42 exhibitor cancellations, we have added 60 new exhibitors for our in-person event,” Foster said. “CES will go forward as important innovations for world health and safety, mobility and solving problems will be exhibited.”
Proof of vaccination, COVID-19 tests, and enforced wearing of masks are some of the measures that CTA has put in place for the event.