CES 2021 – A Virtual Innovation

The Consumer Electronics Show 2021 (CES) will be fully digital due to COVID-19. The show will be available online and in seventeen different languages, a virtual innovation to say the least. If you are registered, you get thirty days to view all of the available content. Karen Chupka, the Executive Vice President of CES, joins us to discuss what we should look forward to at CES 2021.

Physical to Virtual CES

Transitioning from a physical show in Las Vegas since 1978 to a virtual show has been interesting. The decision to go digital was made in July 2020 after the pandemic started to pick up. With a ton of innovation happening throughout the year, CES 2021 had to go on.

Everybody who is in the online collaboration space has seen such an explosion in usage due to COVID. These collaboration tools are now being used for doctors’ appointments, family visits, schooling, etc. A year ago, nobody would have thought this would be a reality. Consumers were able to adapt to this virtual innovation a lot faster than they would have without the pandemic.

CES 2021 Trends

The traditional technologies that are always at CES will still be there this year. As far as new trends, there have been many digital health advancements in wearable technologies that help people better monitor themselves. On top of that, there are many new diagnostics equipment that will help doctors have more effective tele-visits. Advancements in driverless technologies and AI technologies have been popping up and new desktops, laptops, television, and gaming technologies.

In my organization Cable Labs, we worked from home in March of 2020 and recently announced that all of our staff would be doing so until May. With innovation being done virtually, productivity and R&D have increased. There is a loss in collaboration, and it is harder to fix specific problems virtually.

Even with the increase in technology, there is a decrease in group creativity. Karen believes the trend of improving the work from the home environment will continue, but we need to get back to working in-person to achieve the best results.

Features of the Virtual Show

With the show happening virtually, many people who usually couldn’t make it, now can. As a new virtual feature, CES 2021 offers the ability to opt-in to an attendee directory so people can communicate back and forth with others at the show.

CES is partnering with Microsoft to power the show this year and create the best possible experience. They created product showcases for exhibitors to show off their products in various capacities. About 1,800 companies are attending the show, and about 100 different conference sessions will be going on during the show and covering many topics.

This year, there will be a live anchor desk for two days broadcasting product announcements, hot topics, and interviews with different executives. On top of that, the digital platform will be available for thirty days to those registered, offering opportunities to see more content from the show. Closed captioning will also be available in seventeen different languages.

About Our Guest: Karen Chupka

Karen Chupka is executive vice president, CES for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). She oversees the sales, marketing, conferences, operations and management of CTA’s events including its annual tradeshow. CES is the largest annual North American tradeshow by Tradeshow Executive Magazine and Tradeshow Week under her leadership.

Chupka has been with CTA for 30 years. She has held numerous roles within the organization. Karen has been vice president of business development, director of industry relations and education, and director of marketing for CES.

To know more about virtual innovation at CES 2021, listen to this week’s show: CES 2021 – A Virtual Innovation.

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