Updated December 31, 2021 - 7:29 pm
CES 2022 will close a day early as an additional COVID-19 safety measure, the Consumer Technology Association announced Friday.
The show originally was set to run from Wednesday through Jan. 8 but now will close on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m., according to a news release.
In the CTA’s original plan, only the trade show floors were scheduled to be open Jan. 8, with all keynote addresses, conference sessions, award presentations and other activities planned from Wednesday through Jan. 7.
“As the world’s most influential technology event, CES is steadfast in its pledge to be the gathering place to showcase products and discuss ideas that will ultimately make our lives better,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA. “We are shortening the show to three days and have put in place comprehensive health measures for the safety of all attendees and participants.”
More than 2,200 exhibitors committed to participate at CES 2022 in person in Las Vegas. While some 200 canceled their physical participation, in the past two weeks 143 additional companies have signed up to exhibit in-person. Among the large companies to back out were Microsoft Corp., Google, Intel, Twitter Inc., General Motors and BMW.
The association has been under pressure in blog posts from technology professionals to cancel CES 2022 because of the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. The CTA has responded that it believes it has enough safety precautions in place to provide a safe show environment and that it is important for people to gather in person to see technological innovations offered at the show.
With requiring all show participants to prove they’ve been vaccinated as a condition of admission to the show, the CTA is requiring that masks be worn at all exhibit booths and indoor exhibit facilities, in conference and keynote rooms and on CES shuttle buses that ferry attendees between venues.
The association has said CES safety ambassadors would monitor trade show floors and provide masks for those who don’t have them.
Also, when attendees receive their show admission badges, they will get a free Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen self-test kit. Organizers have recommended that attendees take the 15-minute tests, which require a shallow nasal swab, in their hotel rooms before entering any convention venue.
The association also is offering international attendees free diagnostic tests for those needing them to travel back to their home countries.