CES 2016
CES takes place annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada

CES technology show goes digital for 2021 due to coronavirus

The organisers of the Consumer Electronics Show have cancelled next year's event, expected to take place in Las Vegas in January 2021, and replaced it with an online version due to "growing global health concerns about the spread of Covid-19".

CES keynotes, product showcases and meetings will take place in an all-digital format from 6-9 January 2021.

"It is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people"

The decision was made by the show's organisers – the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) – as the coronavirus cases continue to spike across the world, and the death toll in the US nears 150,000.

"With the growing global health concerns about the spread of Covid-19, it is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person," said CES.

"An all-digital CES 2021 will allow the entire tech community to safely share ideas and introduce the products that will shape our future."

Keynotes, conferences and product showcases will be in digital format

CES is an annual showcase of technologies and products that takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2020 event attracted 171,268 attendees, according to CTA, and featured cute and kitschy robots, Segway's latest self-balancing vehicle and Samsung's AI-powered virtual beings.

The association is currently developing the digital format for keynotes and conferences, live meetups and roundtable discussions, product showcases and demonstrations to ensure 2021 remains an "influential digital technology event".

"Technology has helped us all work, learn and connect during the coronavirus pandemic, and it has presented real solutions to help solve complex global challenges," CES said.

"We recognise that, particularly in these uncertain times, it is the partnerships of some of the most creative minds that bring the best solutions to life," it added.

Architecture and design events cancelled or postponed due to pandemic

CES said it plans to return to Las Vegas with a mixture of physical and digital events in 2022.

The coronavirus outbreak caused dozens of international events to be postponed or cancelled. Many are now are adapting their format for next year's events in response to coronavirus. The organisers of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, for example, have unveiled plans for a more affordable and sustainable version for February 2021.

See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Photograph is by Maurizio Pesce.