Monday, January 24, 2022

The Fancy Las Vegas Gadget Convention CES Is Still On, Despite Omicron, And Absolutely Everyone Is Pulling Out

Organizers of the usually trend-setting trade show CES are determined to play chicken with rising rates of COVID-19 cases, but their biggest brands and keynote speakers are freaking out minute by minute.

In a typical year, the first week of January marks the annual tech pilgrimage to the Las Vegas trade show called the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where the best and brightest industry leaders, PR flexes, and booth girls get to tell themselves. joins together” oh it is Definitely The year people start buying those curved TVs!” (Seriously, they are Still trying to make curved TVs.) But even though 2022 has not started yet, we can already tell that it will not be a normal year. Yet the CES convention is determined as hell to still be an individual event, despite some of their biggest names lashing out with each passing hour.

A CNN report on KPIX states that Amazon, Meta (Facebook), T-Mobile, Twitter and Pinterest have all pulled out of CES 2022 due to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 surge. That report was published 13 hours ago. Since then, at least four of the convention’s homepage-listed “featured exhibitors” have also been bailed out.

And oddly, the home page of the CES conference does not mention any COVID-19 protocols, requirements, or any reference to COVID at all. Nor does it mention a keynote speaker, which forms a major part of any conference. You’ll need to visit the CES Instagram page for that information.

Ooh, President and CEO of T-Mobile! Sorry, they announced on Tuesday that he is not goingNeither are its employees. “We are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” T-Mobile said in a statement. “Additionally, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert will no longer offer the keynote in person or virtually.”

Screenshot: CES.tech

Sure, but check out all these other exhibitors currently listed on the CES website! Again, not so fast. Many people have pulled out this morning itself. Intel isn’t going away, Lenovo pulled even Thursday morning, Google’s Waymo scrapped its plans, and TV maker Hisense pulled out Thursday as well. That’s all in one morning.

A CES spokesperson told The Verge, “While we recently received 42 exhibitor cancellations (less than 7% of our exhibition floor), since last Thursday, we have added 60 new exhibitors to our individual program. Registrations for both our Digital Access and our Las Vegas program are showing strong momentum, with thousands more registrations in the past few days.” CES 2022 will continue to drive forward momentum as a key innovation for world health and safety, mobility and problems-solving. will be demonstrated.”

“World Health and Safety.” “solving problems.” It’s not just a spokesperson with their head to their ass, it’s an entire major convention that is cognitively driven from its rear end. And what’s sad isn’t the loss of a hard-partying convention in Vegas, it’s sad that employees of many participating companies will be forced to attend, and spread COVID, even if they don’t care about the whole thing. be able to avoid

related: Dreamforce returns to SOMA this week as a much smaller, mostly outdoor conference [SFist]

Top image: Attendees walk near a full-scale mockup of the Bell Nexus 4EX air taxi concept at CES 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bell’s new fully electric air taxi concept is designed to carry four or five passengers for a range of up to 60 miles at speeds of approximately 150 mph. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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