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CES global gadget fest on track despite pandemic
[SAN FRANCISCO] Consumer Electronics Show organisers said on Wednesday that they are going ahead with plans to bring together people from around the world at a massive annual gathering in Las Vegas.
The Consumer Technology Association trade group decision to hold a gadget extravaganza known to attract tens of thousands of people bucks a trend of live conferences being cancelled due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
CES is scheduled to take place in early January.
"Major brands are committed for the show, and we look forward to announcing another slate of top-tier speakers," read a message at the CES website.
"We will showcase our exhibitors' products, technology breakthroughs and ideas to the world, both physically in Las Vegas and digitally."
Organizers said that more CES sessions and presentations will be streamed online, and it will encourage practices for keeping attendees safe from the virus.
"We are working closely with the Las Vegas community, including the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and hotels venues, as they develop and implement their reopening plans," CES organisers said.
The show, one of the world's largest trade events, historically involves throngs of attendees packed into ballrooms, show floors, conference centers, and shuttle buses during the multi-day event.
Precautions promised for January include routine cleaning of show venues; widening of aisles in exhibit areas, and more space between seats in places where attendees congregate.
CES goers will also be asked to wear masks, avoid shaking hands, and touch things as infrequently as possible, according to the website.
"Just as your companies are innovating to overcome the challenges this pandemic presents, we are adapting to the evolving situation," CES organisers said.
"We believe events such as CES that bring thought leaders and innovators together to solve these challenges will be more important than ever."