The organization behind CES says that it’s going ahead with plans for an in-person event in Las Vegas in January 2021 – with a few modifications, of course.

CES, if you haven’t heard of it, is the event where companies like Samsung, LG, Sony, Lenovo, Acer and more come together to announce the latest batch of TVs, laptops, phones and speakers, as well as talk about the trends that they think will shape the future of technology. It’s easily one of the most important tech events of the year and serves as a showcase for all things tech.

When it’s held next year, CES 2021 will have widened aisles between booths to maintain social distancing guidelines, contactless scans and payments, and regularly cleaned and sanitized spaces throughout the entire Las Vegas Convention Center and beyond. 

In a post about the new guidelines, the company behind the event says that it will issue best practices to convention attendees and says it will be evaluating thermal scans at checkpoints to make sure attendees aren’t spreading the virus, though hasn’t said whether either will be mandatory for entry yet.

For those unable to attend the event in-person, CES 2021 will have portions of the show available online: “You can expect to see a wider selection of livestreamed CES content, along with many other engaging digital and virtual opportunities, enabling you to connect with the world’s leading technology innovators, thought leaders and policymakers,” the CTA said in the post. “We will showcase our exhibitors’ products, technology breakthroughs and ideas to the world, both physically in Las Vegas and digitally.”

CES 2021: what’s the big deal?

CES is basically the confluence of every tech industry with companies, journalists and retailers all getting together for a week to check out what’s coming next. It’s both a hype-building machine and industry-driving vehicle. 

For sites like TechRadar, it’s the chance to bring readers a first look at new TVs and laptops, with basically around-the-clock coverage that isn’t feasible to produce in any other way besides being at a show with all the manufacturers there.

That being said, it’s surprising that CES isn’t following suit with the dozen-or-so other events that have been postponed until mid-2021 at the earliest – as some health experts expect that the Covid-19 pandemic could extend into next year. Microsoft has cancelled all of its in-person events until that point, and many other companies have committed to similar timelines. 

From the sound of things, though, the show will go on one way or another.

  • Missed this year’s show? Here’s everything that happened at CES 2020