CES 2022 begins to crumble as T-Mobile, Amazon, AT&T and more drop in-person conference

Another year, another gigantic tech show that appears to be collapsing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues – now that T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert, one of the Consumer Electronics Show’s featured speakers, publicly announced that his company won’t be attending the world’s largest electronics show next month.

Amazon also decided not to attend the show in person, according to Bloombergby Mark Gurman, and AT&T dropped out on Wednesday, according to Ina Fried d’Axios. Intel also appears to be reconsidering Wednesday.

“T-Mobile will continue to serve as the CES sponsor and title sponsor of the DRL Championship race, but the vast majority of our team will not be traveling to Las Vegas,” the company press release read. “Additionally, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert will no longer be speaking in person or virtually.”

AT&T, by comparison, was not very present at this year’s show. Although the “AT&T Business” division of the company was listed as a featured exhibitor, the company was not to have a keynote address. AT&T Business also appears to have only a very small booth in the Health & Wellness section of the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, with no booth for AT&T in general.

Other companies that could have a big impact if they ditch CES 2022 include Samsung and GM, which presented speeches like T-Mobile, and companies that typically rent a lot of prominent space at the show, like LG, Panasonic and Sony. Intel usually rents a lot of large space as well, but this year their huge booth appears to be MIA, replaced by Canon, Razer, and other small businesses. “We are currently reviewing our plans for CES and will provide an update as soon as possible,” said a representative from Intel. The edge.

We asked some key companies if they are still engaged; a Sony representative suggested to us that the company still plans to attend from Tuesday, and LG said on Tuesday that “unless the CTA says otherwise” he is “still on board.” CES cards show LG has a very large booth at CES, but the company said it is taking a hybrid approach, using QR codes and augmented reality to show off its products.

Bloomberg reports that AMD and Samsung are still planning a limited presence, Nvidia will have a virtual-only speech and that Qualcomm, OnePlus and HTC are still planning to attend. Sony, Samsung and Google are all listed as “monitoring local conditions” which could be interpreted as meaningless platitude, but also makes it easy for these companies to get out if they decide conditions have changed.

On Tuesday morning, the Consumer Technology Association, which manages CES, said it still plans to host an in-person show. “At this point, we’re very focused on creating this show and making it safe and having the right protocols in place to ensure people feel comfortable with it,” said a CTA executive. Pub week.

On Wednesday, CTA said it had received 42 exhibitor cancellations, but also added 60 new exhibitors during that time.

Here is CTA’s full statement at The edge by Jean Foster, marketing and communication manager:

CES will be in person January 5-8 in Las Vegas with strong security measures in place, and our digital access is also available for people who are unwilling or unable to travel to Las Vegas. Our mission remains to bring the industry together and give those who cannot attend in person the opportunity to experience the magic of CES digitally.

While we recently received 42 exhibitor cancellations (less than 7% of our exhibit area), since last Thursday we have added 60 new exhibitors for our in-person event. Registrations for both our digital access and our Las Vegas event continue to show strong momentum, with thousands more registrations over the past few days.

CES 2022 will continue with the presentation of important innovations for global health and safety, mobility and problem solving. in addition, Thousands of small and medium-sized businesses trust CES for their business. We have increased our official number to over 2,200 exhibitors and as announced yesterday many of our top elected officials from both political parties will be at CES.

Given CES’s comprehensive health measures – vaccination requirement, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests – coupled with low attendance and social distancing measures, we are confident that attendees and exhibitors can have a socially distanced event. but useful and productive in Las Vegas, as well as a rewarding experience on our digital access.

In the recent past, we have seen the question of “whether or not they will cancel due to COVID” take some time to resolve. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​the first major tech fair to take place after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, has gone on for some time even though partners have continued to cancel. Eventually, organizers had to cancel MWC 2020. Big tech companies also ditched the in-person version of MWC 2021. CES 2021, on the other hand, was all virtual.

Update, 8:41 p.m. ET: Added additional business responses via Bloomberg.

Update, 10:09 p.m. ET: Added information on Amazon and LG.

Update December 22 at 4:05 p.m. ET: Added new information on AT&T, Intel and a statement from CTA, which hosts CES every year.

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