CES 2021 Lays Out Its All-Digital Experience

CES 2021
(Image credit: CES)

ARLINGTON, Va.—CES 2021 kicks off in less than a month, and the event’s organizers this week announced how the all-digital experience will play out for global participants. Leaders from the Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES, laid out the plans for the first-ever all-digital CES conference.

CES will begin Jan. 11 with Media Day, featuring exclusive media access to more than 20 press conferences from CES exhibitors, followed by the digital event opening to all registered attendees at 6 p.m. ET with a keynote from Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. Exhibitor showcases and conference programming will take place Jan. 12-13, with Jan. 14 dedicated to digital CES partner programming.

Exhibitor showcases and conference programming will all be available through CES’ digital platform, which was created by CES technology partner Microsoft. The platform is designed to be customizable, giving attendees the ability to select topics of interest from which the platform will make recommendations. Attendees can also set up their own agenda and schedule meetings with exhibitors or, if they opt-in to the attendee directory, virtual chats with other attendees.

Here is a preview of the CES digital venue.

CES also announced a handful of new keynotes and sessions, including a conversation with Best Buy CEO Corie Barry and Fortune CEO Alan Murray discussing the future of tech and how she led Best Buy through the pandemic. The full list of featured speakers is available online.

A new conference, “Privacy and Trust With Amazon, Google and Twitter,” will include a panel featuring Keith Enright, chief privacy officer at Google; Damien Kieran, chief privacy officer for Twitter; and Anne Toth, director, Alexa Trust, for Amazon Alexa.

PLUS: CES Returns to Being a 'TV Show,' Albeit Virtual

The digital experience will also feature a live anchor desk that will help attendees navigate the digital venue, share the latest news and conduct interviews. Anchors for this year’s show are Justine Ezarik, host and tech content creator of iJustine; Rich DeMuro, tech reporter for KTLA-TV in Los Angeles; Naomi Kyle, actress, producer and host of CBS’ “Star Trek’s The Ready Room;” and Brian Tong, a tech host and content creator.

CES schedule times are based on the eastern time zone (ET) and will take place between 7 a.m. and approximately 8 p.m., allowing for attendees worldwide to access some live content. All content will be available immediately following a session’s conclusion on-demand, and the digital venue platform will remain open until Feb. 15.

CTA estimates that CES 2021 has more than 1,000 companies participating in this year’s conference. They also say they have planned more than 100 hours of programming.

“CES 2021 will be a collaborative experience, encouraging connections between audiences and exhibitors from around the world,” said Karen Chupka, executive vice president, CES, CTA. “We threw out the playbook and decided not to just recreate CES online—but to reimagine it. The digital transformation of our industry has given us the opportunity to reach an even larger, global audience and create new experiences for this year and beyond.”

CTA President and CEO Gary Shaprio confirmed Chupka’s statement that the digital experience is likely to continue into future years, but Shapiro also stated their intention to host CES 2022 in-person in Las Vegas again, saying that nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction that an in-person conference offers. He says that exhibitors have already signed up for an in-person 2022 conference.

For more information, or to register, visit www.ces.tech.