CES convention center signSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • CES 2021 is slated to go ahead as usual in Las Vegas next year.
  • Despite several high-profile tech conferences being canceled this year, CES is scheduled to be an in-person event.
  • The tech showcase's organizers are emphasizing their focus on everyone's safety as they begin preparing for what is often dubbed the largest tech trade show of the year.

As the pandemic rages on, and even as the U.S. passed the grim 100,000 fatalies mark just last week, states across the country are already drawing up plans for reopening the economy. That means that not only may your local Starbucks resume operation soon but also that the massive trade shows that are a hallmark of the tech world, and which we saw very few of this year, are also set to return with a vengeance.

Case in point, the Consumer Technology Association has already announced its plans for preparing to hold CES 2021 at its usual home in Las Vegas in early January of next year, as an in-person event. Of course, with social distancing and the fear of infection on everyone's minds, things certainly won't be business as usual.

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The CTA is planning on increasing the amount of content that is available digitally, while also enacting a number of policies aimed at ensuring attendee's safety:

  • Regularly clean and sanitize spaces across the show venues and provide sanitization stations throughout;
  • Better enable social distancing, including widening aisles in many exhibit areas and providing more space between seats in conference programs and other areas where attendees congregate;
  • Issue best practices for attendees, such as wearing masks and avoiding shaking hands, and for exhibitors on product demonstrations;
  • Limit touch points throughout the facilities including through cashless systems for purchases and transactions;
  • Evaluate solutions for contactless thermal scans at key venue entry points;
  • Provide enhanced on-site access to health service and medical aid.

The organizers are also working with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, hotels, and their venue organizers to implement best practices for holding an event of this scale in the middle of a global pandemic that's already taken 376,000 lives worldwide.

And as you'd expect, a big focus of this year's event will be the use of technology in solving the many challenges created by the pandemic. Expect to see a lot of telehealth solutions on the floor this year next to the rows of new PCs and smartphones lining the halls as usual.

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