CES Doesn’t Look Anything Like Usual, But It’s Not A Ghost Town Either

January 6, 2022 by Dave Haynes

There was a huge amount of speculation in the past month or so about whether this week’s CES show would even happen, and if it did, would anyone attend?

It’s on, and there are people. Not the usual hordes that cause line-ups for everything and force you to pay $300/night for a hotel room that most other weeks would cost $30/night, and require a hazmat suit.

Here’s the show opening – which suggests a ton of people:

And here’s the crowd around a booth, albeit in the fintech area, which is about as buzzy as buzzy gets lately, between crypto and NFTs.

But here are some other visuals that suggest it’s pretty quiet, relatively speaking.

And this …

And this …

I’ve not come across much that’s new in the context of digital signage and pro AV, based on watching tech media reporting and the daily barrage of PR I get even without registering for the show. A lot of vendors pulled out or stripped back what they are showing in person. It’s also one of those years in which display tech is more about incremental advances (ie a bit faster, tighter, brighter, cheaper, etc), as opposed to big leaps.

There’s still the predictably weird stuff that dots the show floor each year, such as …

The association that runs CES is doing its best to suggest it’s busy, and putting out social media that (understandably) polishes the apple, so to speak.

One good thing that’s evident from the visuals is that mask compliance seems very high. It doesn’t appear people are just wearing masks to get in, and then pulling them off. I’ve no idea what it’s like elsewhere around the city, but it is reasonable to imagine it’s not anywhere near as enforced as at the show proper.

If you are there, stay healthy! If you’re not – and didn’t really need to be there for a client touch or something – it doesn’t look like you’ve missed much. As noted in the past, the argument for pure-play digital signage people needing to attend or show at CES is flimsy. It’s different for the display folks, but even companies like LG and Sony stripped way back on their presence.

Maybe by InfoComm in June, things will be semi-normal … DSE is 10 or 11 weeks out, and the state of health affairs by then is hard to predict. Hope it’s fine!


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