More than 40 tech companies aren't attending CES 2022 in-person, but should you?

It looks like ‘abandon ship’ at CES 2022 as more than 40 tech companies have so far backed out of in-person events and physical kiosks. These include T-Mobile, Intel, Lenovo, TikTok and Meta. However, around 60 businesses have signed up for physical space on the show floor, confirmed the Consumer Technology Association, who organizes CES.

Consumer Electronics Show, formerly an initialism for CES, is less than a fortnight away, but it is rapidly transforming into a purely digital affair, just like last year. However, CES 2022 might not turn out to be a lackluster event due to poor turnout of tech companies and their latest gizmos.

“While we recently received 42 exhibitor cancellations (less than 7% of our exhibit floor), since last Friday, we've added 60 new exhibitors for our in-person event,” confirmed the CTA.

CES 2022 is scheduled to be an in-person event, unlike CES 2021, which was a purely digital affair. Technically, this means live demonstrations, talks, discussions, and lots of merchandise to be won. However, it looks like COVID-19 could play the grinch at this event as well. Interestingly, it is not the fear of the Omicron variant or the re-surging COVID-19 cases, but the ongoing chip shortage that is causing havoc with several companies’ design deadlines.

Speaking less than a fortnight before the show, CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro reportedly said, “It’s the global chip shortage, rather than the coronavirus pandemic, that’s keeping more exhibitors away. It’s, I think, probably produced more cancellations of exhibitors than anything having to do with COVID (-19) at this point.”

The CTA has mandated that only fully vaccinated people can attend, and masks are compulsory in the venue. Given the fact that many tech giants will avoid an in-person CES 2022, the venue might appear sparsely populated. However, such situations often allow lesser-known startups to better showcase their groundbreaking technologies.

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