With the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, this year’s CES features adaptation, cancellations, and on-demand streaming
By Laura Kobylecky
CES In Person 2022
In 2021, CES shifted to an online platform They replicated some of the experiences with video feeds, live chat and some interactive experiences.
This year CES became a hybrid event. On December 22, The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) confirmed that there would indeed be an in person CES event in Las Vegas on January 5-8. This event was to be paired with the online version that would include “digital access” to their online venue.#CES2022 received 42 exhibitor cancellations for their in-person event Click To Tweet
They had received 42 exhibitor cancellations for their in-person event. Their press released emphasized that this was “less than 7% of our exhibit floor” and that they’ve had “added 60 new exhibitors for our in person event.” CES explained that they were making steps to ensure “a socially distanced but worthwhile and productive event.” These steps included “vaccination requirement, masking, and availability of COVID-19 tests” as well as social distancing measures.
On December 25th Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) wrote an opinion piece for the Las Vegas Review-Journal discussing the decision to have an in person CES in 2022. He explained:
“CES will and must go on. It will have many more small companies than large ones. It may have big gaps on the show floor. Certainly, it will be different from previous years. It may be messy. But innovation is messy. It is risky and uncomfortable.
On December 31, 2021 CTA announced further safety measures for the event. They cut the last day of the event and announced that the new dates for the in-person event would be January 5-7, 2022. They confirmed that “All attendees must be FULLY vaccinated against COVID-19.” Anyone who was unable to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination would not receive a CES 2022 badge.
Attendees must pick up their own badges before entering CES show facilities. In order to receive the badge they must use “CLEAR’s free mobile app and Health Pass feature to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination” or go to a designated Customer Service Center location or airport locations to show their COVID-19 vaccine documentation.Innovation is messy. It is risky and uncomfortable #CES2022 Click To Tweet
CES gave attendees one “complimentary Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test kit” which contains two tests, takes 15 minutes, and requires a “shallow nasal swab.” It was requested that the attendees take a COVID-19 test “less than 24 hours before entering a CES venue.”
The in-person event also has a variety of health and safety requirements. Attendees must wear masks in the exhibit facilities and booths, in keynote and conference rooms, and on the CES shuttles. Additionally CES provides “complimentary RT-PCR testing for attendees who are traveling back to their international destination and who require a test to travel.”
The list of companies that canceled their in-person presence includes:
- General Motors
- Proctor & Gamble
For the online CES experience, there are similarities to CES 2021. Like last year, there will be on-demand streaming content from the event and that content will remain active until January 31st. Last year, on-demand streaming content was available throughout the duration of the conference.#CES2022 attendees must wear masks in the exhibit facilities and booths, in keynote and conference rooms, and on the CES shuttles Click To Tweet
This year is different. As of January 7th, most of the on-demand content is not yet available. CTA customer service confirmed via email that the on-demand content “will be uploaded within the next couple of days.”
However, at the moment, some of the some of the main keynotes are available for streaming including: Samsung Keynote, CTA State of the Industry Keynote, General Motors Keynote and Abbott Keynote
During the event, some of the sessions are live-streamed on the four available channels. There is a chat section where people watching can interact or comment. The digital venue includes an “explore” section where you can search through the list of exhibitors and attendees.Once again CES has made an admirable attempt at adapting to an ever-shifting landscape and creating new experiences for the attendees Click To Tweet
On the exhibitor page, you may get a bit of information about the company, connect with some of their representatives or see some media or a press release. Some of the companies have microsites that were made specifically to support their CES presence. On the attendee page, you have to option to chat or connect with attendees.
For more social fun CES, added a “mingle” function. The “mingle” connects you to a total stranger who is a fellow attendee of CES. The introductions are based on “your profile,” most likely using the various “interests” that you can select. You have no idea who you are talking to beforehand, just allow access to your camera and microphone and enjoy the total surprise. The experience lasts for three minutes before you are connected to another unexpected person. After the chat, you have the option to “connect” with the person you spoke to.
Overall the online version of CES seems scaled back compared to 2021. The online experience will be enhanced when the on-demand streaming content becomes available. Once again CES has made an admirable attempt at adapting to an ever-shifting landscape and creating new experiences for the attendees.
Laura Kobylecky is a contributing writer to Tech Trends. She is particularly interested in new and emerging technology and culture. Connect with her on LinkedIn