Are Business Travelers Going to Create a CES2023 Show Yet?

Every year, just like clockwork, spokespersons for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) claim the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be the largest and most impressive to date. The CTA is no longer stating that but instead anticipating the presence of 2500 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors in Las Vegas this January.

“The increase in and excitement about CES 2023 continue,” said Gary Shapiro, president, and CEO of CTA. “We are delighted by the show’s momentum and are excited to open the doors of new ideas in January.”

Why is that? CES is an essential participant in the international tradeshow business and, in the pre-COVID year of 2019, brought in $34.4 billion. In 2020 CES featured more than 170,000 people from all around the world.

However, the 2020 event was shortly before the global spreading of COVID-19. Perhaps it did not, but some interviews and reports with attendees ill-described CES 2020 as the first COVID-19 superspreader’s event.

It is expected that the return of CES a big way will be welcomed by the manufacturers, who’ve been denied the opportunity to display their goods live to wholesalers, buyers, installers, resellers, and other players in the food chain of consumer electronics. Electronics industry leaders and startup companies alike are eager to showcase their products to hundreds of journalists attending exclusive events for journalists like ShowStoppers and Meet the Press.

A successful CES is also suitable for Las Vegas, taking up the city’s hotels, restaurants, clubs, and shops and hiring vehicles for $300 million. It would also be welcomed by airlines, proving the return of the unattainable business traveler. Travelers from abroad are predicted to be 30% of attendees in 2023.

CES is eager to return. Because of the pandemic and the resulting outbreak, the show was utterly virtual in 2021. This resulted in some mixed reviews. One reviewer stated, ” Overall, the CES digital experience is not great. However, the organizers were forced to make a decision.” With the high infection rate, no one “was willing to go across the desert to Las Vegas to be together with the 110,000+ people who attended.”

The event returned in January 2022 and was an event that was a mix of live and digital. However, the winter COVID crisis caused CES 2022 to be a disaster. Media, journalists, and others pleaded with CTA to pull the event. While CES highlighted its numerous health-related measures to prevent COVID-19’s spread, following the event, CTA officials, as well as their partners with the Nevada Department of Public Health, did not release numbers regarding how many of the attendees were afflicted with COVID.

Around 40,000 attendees were in attendance. The event ended the day before. Twitter, Meta (Facebook), T-Mobile, and Amazon were numerous companies that walked away. The one CNN reporter covering the show’s problems said CNN would not be present.

After the show and through January 11, 2022, a Clark County (Las Vegas) positive rate was 33.4 percent. The CTA nor its medical advisor or their medical adviser, or the Nevada Department of Health would provide statistics on COVID among the attendees. It was revealed that 70 employees from the 350 Korean companies that attended the event, including Samsung, SK, and Hyundai, have tested positive. Samsung charters a plane to transport 20 COVID-positive employees into South Korea.

Despite previous concerns, CTA is projecting optimistic figures for the 2023 event. One reason could be an attitude change towards the pandemic. In April, a Federal judge declared that the CDC overstepped its authority by requiring masks for aircraft. The mandate for covers on airlines ended abruptly, not-forgotten end, with violence against passengers dropping by 74 percent. Biden was President. Biden also declared that the epidemic ended in “60 Minutes” on September 18, 2022.

After being quarantined for two years and having 3 COVID vaccines, I was diagnosed with COVID in May 2022. Ironically, I contracted it at a second Las Vegas convention, my first time there in two and a half years. However, like many of us nowadays, I had the mildest of cases.

After a lengthy debate, I registered less than a month before CES. I struggled to find an adequate hotel room, which is an excellent indication of the show.

I finally opted for Priceline and was enticed by a “four-star Strip hotel” deal for $105 per night. However, the tax, fees, and unwelcome resort cost made $105 turn into $180. Then, when I found out that the hotel in question was an old Tropicana (built-in 1957), it was apparent that the grade inflation was slipping into the Priceline rating system.

The early indications are promising regarding CES 2023, do business professionals and travelers consider COVID-19 a threat? Two weeks before the event, COVID risks in Nevada are considered low, with steady or declining incidences.

The CTA also has an updated series of health-related protocols to be used at CES 2022.

It is the most efficient method to determine COVID and isolate those suffering from the disease.

  • As per current CDC guidelines, international travelers must present proof of their COVID vaccination before boarding a plane toward the U.S.
  • CES will allow access to fast antigen tests. If you are sick at a CES exhibition location, we will provide you with the test for free at designated medical stations.
  • We will assist visitors from abroad who may require a test to return to their home country.
  • We strongly recommend COVID vaccinations and boosters since vaccines have been shown to decrease the possibility of developing a critical illness.
  • We strongly urge you to get your annual flu shots to decrease the risk of contracting the illness.
  • Wear a quality mask indoors if it makes you more comfortable. Please respect the people around you and wear a mask.
  • Similar to CES 2022. The central aisles of the show floor will be broader to prevent excessive close contact.

Hand Sanitization stations will be located all over CES locations.

Take note of best practices like avoiding shaking hands and directing the flow of people at exhibit meetings, areas for meetings, and demonstrations of products.

Do these numbers suffice to make sure that COVID recurrence at CES? Let’s pray that it is. CTA will be clear about COVID rates and severity statistics for the business world can decide independently.

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