The corona virus is hitting the most important technology trade fair of the year hard: Numerous well-known exhibitors will be missing at the CES in Las Vegas.
Amazon, Google, Lenovo, Microsoft, General Motors and Intel have already canceled their participation in fear of the pandemic. The Facebook parent company Meta and the US subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile, are also not exhibiting at trade fairs.
Many companies are relocating their appearances on the Internet and only want to present new products and services in live streams at the CES.
LG Electronics says it will offer a stand on the exhibition grounds, but will not set up any new products there – it will only offer presentations in virtual or augmented reality (AR or VR).
A cancellation of the fair is out of the question for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) – the organizer of the CES. “The CES will and must go on,” writes CTA boss Gary Shapiro in one Guest contribution to the “Las Vegas Review-Journal”.
“There will be a lot more small companies than big ones. There can be large gaps in the exhibition space, ”admits Shapiro. But: “If we cancel the trade fair, we will damage thousands of smaller companies, entrepreneurs and innovators who have invested in setting up their exhibition stands and who are counting on CES for their business, their inspiration and their future.”
The organizer accepts that the CES will attract significantly fewer visitors under these circumstances. At least there is “plenty of space for the participants to keep their distance”.