LAS VEGAS (CBS SF) – Organizers of the Consumer Electronics Show said they are planning to hold an in-person event in Las Vegas early next year, even as the coronavirus pandemic has halted nearly all major tech conferences and large scale events.
“Major brands are committed for the show, and we look forward to announcing another slate of top-tier speakers,” the Consumer Technology Association announced Wednesday.
The announcement comes as several Las Vegas casinos and resorts announced plans to reopen on Thursday, with restrictions.
Held every January in Las Vegas, CES is one of the tech industry’s largest annual gatherings. More than 175,000 people attended last year’s event and more than 4,500 companies exhibited products.
For next year’s event, organizers are planning to make several adjustments, including regular cleaning and sanitizing, along with widening aisles in exhibit areas to facilitate social distancing. The event is also looking at solutions for contactless thermal scans at entry points and providing “enhanced” health services on-site.
Planning for an in-person CES comes amid ongoing uncertainty among technology firms about bringing workers back to the office, along with holding large conferences and gatherings. Facebook, for instance, has already canceled all gatherings of 50 or more people until at least June of 2021. The social media giant recently announced a goal of having up to half of its workforce working remotely over the next decade.
Upcoming Bay Area tech conferences that have been moved online due to the pandemic include Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference scheduled for late June and the Salesforce Dreamforce conference set for November.