CES 2022 is not going to be as cool anymore.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is always something special. Sony presented its concept car there in 2020, and this year's edition was set to be just as cool. A recent rumor claims that BMW wants to bring color-changing body panels to the event, and General Motors was going to debut its electric Chevrolet Silverado 1500 EV at the Las Vegas extravaganza too. But the recent spike in Covid-19 cases has forced many big brands to reevaluate their plans for publicity over the next couple of months. According to a report from Reuters, GM CEO Mary Barra, who was scheduled to give a keynote speech on January 5, has now opted to give the speech remotely, revealing the new electric truck online at the same time.
An official statement on the matter reads as follows. "We have decided to move to an all-digital approach with our activation at CES 2022 in January," says GM. "We are continuing with our plans on January 5 to share our significant company news, including the reveal of the Chevrolet Silverado EV."
GM is not alone either, as tech giant Google released a similar statement, mentioning that although it would not have a presence on the show floor, it would continue to "identify and support virtual opportunities." Waymo also intends to participate in a virtual manner if the opportunity exists, while TikTok announced its intention to hold a virtual event for partners and advertisers. Intel is also minimizing its presence at the show.
Other exhibitors that have already dropped their in-person attendance plans include Facebook's parent company Meta Platforms, Twitter, Lenovo, AT&T, and Amazon. Despite this mass exodus caused by Omicron variant fears, CES officials still intend to go ahead with the full show from January 5-8. They say that there are "strong safety measures in place," and "CES 2022 will go forward as important innovation[s] for world health and safety, mobility, and solving problems will be exhibited."
CES adds that 42 exhibitors have canceled since last week, but that this is less than 7% of the exhibitors and that 60 others have filled their place. If things get worse, however, we wouldn't be surprised to see the 2022 edition of the show fall apart altogether.