CES will return as an in-person event in 2022

Tech giants have committed to it, but are people ready?

Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling via Getty Images

Tech event organizers are determined to revive in-person extravaganzas as the COVID-19 pandemic (hopefully) recedes, and that now includes the largest of them all. The Consumer Technology Association has announced plans to hold CES 2022 as a combination in-person and digital event in Las Vegas between January 5th and January 8th, with media preview days starting January 3rd. And yes, big-name brands have committed to CES — Amazon, Google, Intel, Samsung and Sony are among those expected to have a presence.

The digital anchor desk from CES 2021 will return to provide coverage for those staying at home.

Yes, the CTA is aware of safety concerns. The Association said it was "reviewing" safety guidelines from the CDC as well as state and regional officials. It also expects to adapt CES to honor federal, local and state laws.

Even so, it's easy to see why many people might be nervous about going. While many people will have received COVID-19 vaccines by January 2022, there's no guarantee enough of them will be vaccinated in time, especially outside of countries like the US and UK. And without clarity about vaccine requirements, testing or capacity limits, it's not clear just how safe the gathering will be. CES 2020 had about 170,000 attendees, many of them from abroad — while we wouldn't expect as many guests in 2022, an outbreak at the event could have ramifications well beyond US borders.

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