Culture

CES will return to its chaotic, in-person roots next year

From January 5 to 8, Las Vegas will become tech-innovation central once again. With proper health and safety precautions, of course.

LAS VEGAS -- Mechanical arms move along with music during the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the United States, Jan. 9, 2020. The world's premier tech show was wrapped up here on Friday. The four-day show drew more than 4,500 exhibitors from over 160 countries. (Photo by Wu Xiaoling/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling via Getty Images)
Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

It’s official: the 2022 edition of CES will take place in Las Vegas, with all the crowded glory of an in-person tech conference. The Consumer Electronics Show will take place from January 5 to January 8, 2022, returning to Las Vegas after a COVID-sponsored gap year. Media days will be held on the two days prior.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) — which has organized the event since 1967 — says more than 1,000 vendors have already signed up to show off their latest technology at the exhibition. Those companies include big names like Amazon, IBM, Google, Hyundai, GL, Sony, and Dell, amongst many others.

“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas — home to CES for more than 40 years — and look forward to seeing many new and returning face,” said Gary Shapiro, CEO and president of the CTA.

Though the majority of the United States’ population should be vaccinated by January, there’s still a fair chance not everyone will be ready to jump back into the chaos of the CES floor. For this reason, the CTA is working to ensure much of the conference is accessible remotely, too.

No surprises here — As one of the world’s longest-running and best-attended electronics shows, CES has become integral to tech-innovation ecosystem. If you want your fancy new product to be seen by the masses, there’s really no better place to show it off.

This year’s all-digital CES just didn’t hit the same. We saw plenty of weird robots and ridiculous pocket gadgets, but we didn’t get to do anything beyond seeing them. Without the ability to physically play around with these products, much of the conference’s charm was lost. So no, we’re not at all shocked that CES is returning to its Vegas roots. The CTA has always spoken about 2021’s all-digital event as a one-time affair. And Las Vegas loves the week-long tourist bump, too.

Back to normal? — CES isn’t the only show planning a return to semi-normalcy this year. Mobile World Congress, one of the first victims of COVID-19 cancellations, is planning to go ahead with an in-person event this year; the 2022 IFA convention will do the same.

All of these large-format conferences attract attendees from around the world, and as such they’ll need to keep up with enhanced safety precautions. The CTA says it will follow the CDC’s most updated guidance, as well as state and local guidelines for Las Vegas and Nevada.