The coronavirus pandemic hit the conferences industry pretty hard this year: Mobile World Congress was the first big event to be canceled back in February, and E3 2020 also won’t be happening this June. Microsoft has also announced it won't hold in-person conferences until at least next July.
However, some of the biggest annual trade shows are still going to happen in the coming months. Computex 2020 in Taipei, which was originally planned on June 2-4, 2020 in Taipei, has been rescheduled to September 28-30. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) also announced its plans for CES 2021 in the first week of May, with the trade show coming back to Las Vegas on January 6-9, 2021 with much-increased safety measures.
"For CES 2021, we will highlight technologies that help provide solutions for some of the day-to-day challenges created by the pandemic. We are encouraged that the collaboration of technology and medicine will create innovative solutions and save lives. And we believe events such as CES that bring thought leaders and innovators together to solve these challenges will be more important than ever," the CTA said in its press release.
The CTA said that it plans to regularly clean and sanitize spaces across the show venues, invite attendees to wear masks and practice social distancing, while also evaluating solutions for contactless thermal scans at key venue entry points. The association also plans to offer more livestreams this year, which is a good sign as more companies including Microsoft have been embracing digital conferences since the beginning of the pandemic. As the event is seven months away, the CTA still has plenty of time to adapt to the evolving pandemic and maybe learn from the upcoming Computex 2020 trade show in Taipei.
"Your safety, security and health are always a priority at CES, and we continue to evaluate and expand the measures we put in place," the CTA said in the press release. "We are working closely with the Las Vegas community, including the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and hotels venues, as they develop and implement their re-opening plans. We are also working with leading event industry associations as they develop their best practices. And we will ensure our plans follow the recommendations of public health experts and standards set by the federal, state and local governments."
Update 2PM PT: The CTA contacted us and other websites today to clarify that the announcement of an in-person event in Las Vegas in January for CES 2021 was actually made in the first week of May. We have updated our post to reflect this, and we apologize for the error.