For Better or Worse, CES Is Back, Baby!

For Better or Worse, CES Is Back, Baby!
Photo: Robyn Beck, Getty Images

This year’s CES was an all-digital event because of the pandemic. It was a decision that led many a journalist to fall to their knees, arms opened wide in supplication because a benevolent God apparently did exist. Alas, it was temporary. The Consumer Technology Association announced today that CES 2022 will return to Las Vegas Jan. 5-8, 2022.

According to the CTA, roughly 1,000 companies have “committed” to exhibiting in Las Vegas, and more are continuing to sign up. It also named Amazon, AMD, AT&T, Daimler AG, Dell, Google, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, and Sony as a few of the brands that would be returning. The organisation also said it would review CDC safety guidelines, as well as follow federal, state, and local laws to adapt CES plans.

“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 faces,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA, in the press release. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

It is true that the all-digital CES didn’t provide the same kind of hands-on opportunities for new gadgets, or networking for smaller companies. However, pour one out for us tech bloggers, barely coherent after the holidays, schlepping out to Las Vegas for 18-hour days, and always missing the last sandwich in the press room. In general, the past year was an experiment in virtual launch events — and by and large, most were snappy affairs that let everyone involved stay in their pajamas. Just as Big Tech realised the benefits of remote work during this time, some of us held a small spark of hope that they’d also realise how great remote events were too. Alas, it is not to be, and therefore, I weep.

The CTA says it will be continuing its digital experience via its “CES Anchor desk,” which debuted for the first time this year. It also noted that new content would be added digitally once the in-person CES 2022 is over and done with. One might ask why, then, do any of us have to go to Vegas at all? The only answer I can muster is that while the coronavirus can be killed by modern medicine, CES is an unkillable event that will haunt tech bloggers until the end days.