Even as a rising number of notable technology businesses cancel their intentions to attend in person due to an increase in Covid-19 cases, CES, one of the most well watched annual tech conferences, is pushing forward with plans to conduct an in-person event in two weeks.
Amazon (AMZN), Meta (FB), T-Mobile (TMUS), Twitter (TWTR), and Pinterest (PINS) all indicated this week that they will no longer be attending CES in Las Vegas early next month, citing health concerns and uncertainty around the latest Covid-19 outbreak.
“Our employees’ health and safety are our top priorities. We will no longer have an on-site presence at CES due to the rapidly changing scenario and uncertainties around the Omicron variant “In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Sarah Sobolewski said. The corporation intends to maintain a virtual presence.
“Out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees, we won’t be attending CES in-person due to the evolving public health concerns related to COVID-19,” Kamran Mumtaz, a spokesperson for Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, said in a statement. “We will participate virtually as much as possible and continue to collaborate with the CTA around CES, which remains an important event for Meta, our clients and industry partners,” Mumtaz added, referring to the Consumer Technology Association, which hosts the event.
After several were already planned to send smaller teams than normal, some media sites, including the Verge and CNN, have begun to withdraw their plans to cover CES in person.
Even before firms began withdrawing this year, CES was supposed to be a smaller-than-usual event, but CTA stated Wednesday that it has no intentions to discontinue in-person participation entirely. Instead, it intends to enact safety measures like as immunisation regulations, mask and testing standards, and so on. Companies and attendees who are unable to come in person will be able to access online components of CES.
“CES will still take place Jan 5-8 in Las Vegas with strong safety measures in place,” the conference’s media team said in a statement to CNN Business. “Thousands of entrepreneurs, businesses, media and buyers are planning to come to Las Vegas. Top leaders from federal and state and foreign governments are attending. And, we have received several thousand new registrants since late last week.”