Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O), Micro-Star International Co (2377.TW), and Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) are the newest companies to withdraw from attending the consumer Electronics Show (CES) in person next month as Omicron cases surge.
More than 2,100 exhibitors have signed up for 2022, according to the CTA.
However, the rapid spread of the new coronavirus variant has forced individuals and firms across the U.S. to rethink their travel plans as they appear to minimize the danger of contracting the virus.
Many flights have been canceled by airlines such as Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and Alaska Airlines (ALK.N), and a surge in new infections has threatened to disrupt the cruise industry’s comeback.
Consumer Electronics Show(CES) is expecting around 2,200 in-person exhibitors this year in Las Vegas, which serves as an annual exhibition of the latest trends and gadgets in the technology industry.
The event, starting Jan. 5, would force all attendees to be masked and vaccinated, and also offer COVID-19 tests, a spokesperson for Consumer Technology Association, the event organizer, said.
Most prominent tech-focused magazines, including CNET, The Verge, and TechCrunch, as well as Facebook parent company Meta, Amazon, T-Mobile, and Twitter, withdrew.
Alongside, Google, GM, Waymo, Lenovo Group, and AT&T, according to multiple sources, have joined the list of firms that aren’t intending to send substantial numbers of staff to the Las Vegas convention.
In announcing Google’s pull-out, a spokesman’s statement read, “After careful consideration, we have decided to withhold from having a presence on the show floor of CES 2022. We’ve been closely monitoring the development of the omicron variant, and have decided that this is the best choice for the health and safety of our teams.”
“Our in-person engagements will now transition to virtual within the best interest of the health and safety of our employees, partners, and communities,” a spokesperson for chip designer AMD said.
The average number of recent COVID-19 cases within the US has risen 55% to over 205,000 per day over the last seven days, as per a Reuters tally.
Some are yet determined to attend CSE
With the fast-spreading omicron strain of COVID-19 and nearly every major tech vendor opting out of physically attending CES 2022, organizers and hundreds of startups cling to the concept of staging the industry’s biggest domestic exhibition in Las Vegas early next month.
Startups especially are more focused to attend USA’s largest tech fest to get deserving exposure which Covid has snatched away from them.
“We are concerned, but we are a startup and have a limited amount of time to publicize our product. We can’t wait another year,” Gloria Kolb, chief executive of Elidah Inc., which makes a treatment for women with incontinence, told MarketWatch.
Marijana Radonjic, CEO of Edge Leap B.V. in the Netherlands, is going solo for CES after initially planning to lead a team of three. “Everything is so unpredictable, but we will do our best to be safe,” she told MarketWatch.
“With the bigger companies dropping out, it gives the smaller companies a chance to get more attention,” Amanda Green, who works in business development at Orca Communications, told MarketWatch. Her public-relations company has three clients attending CES — Elidah, Raycon and Twinkly.
While other huge tech meetings have chosen to postpone their events due to the omicron surge, CES has chosen the distorted way of adhering to its schedule.
What is CSE?
CES is a consumer electronics event that brings together over 1,100 multinational firms to display the newest advancements in technology sectors such as digital health, gastronomy, automotive, near-field communication (NFT), gaming, and home technology. It is taking place from 5th January to 7th January 2022 in Las Vegas, USA.