Are Sony and Canon Exiting CES 2022?
Show floor booths for both tech giants suddenly listed as "available."
By Robert S. Anthony
Stadium Circle Features
(***UPDATE: CES: Sony and Canon Still on Track for CES 2022***)
Will Sony and Canon be the latest tech giants to pull out of CES 2022?
Maybe: Their booths are now missing from the CES 2022 exhibitor directory.
The new winter hasn’t been kind to CES 2022, the nation’s largest tech show, and the season may have gotten worse as worries over the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant prompt many attendees to change plans about attending the mega-event in Las Vegas, scheduled to open in a week.
In the past weeks numerous exhibitors, including GM, Microsoft, Intel, Pinterest, Google, T-Mobile, Lenovo and others have sharply reduced or withdrawn from in-person participation in CES 2022, citing concerns over Covid-19.
While Sony and Canon have not announced any such plans for withdrawal, over the Christmas weekend their names disappeared from their floor locations in the CES 2022 exhibitor directory and their booths were suddenly listed as “available.”
The 25,000-square-foot Sony booth and 10,800-square-foot Canon booth anchor two corners of the vast Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
According to the Consumer Technology Association, which operates CES, about 2,200 exhibitors are expected to showcase their wares and technologies at the show, scheduled to open for two media-only days Jan. 3 and 4 and to all attendees Jan. 5 to 8. About 4,500 exhibitors were at the last in-person CES in 2020.
The CTA has made no attendance estimates for CES 2022 other than to admit that attendance would be lower. CES drew about 170,000 attendees in 2020. While CES 2021 was all digital and had no in-person show at all, CES 2022 was always planned as a hybrid event—both digital and in-person—in consideration of the ongoing pandemic.
In recent years Sony has ended the second media day with a large press conference at its show floor booth. The Sony press conference, which would have been streamed in any case, is still scheduled for 5 p.m. PT Jan. 4. Canon’s 1 p.m. PT Jan. 4 press conference also still appears on the CES website.
Through no fault of its own the CTA unfortunately finds itself between the proverbial rock and hard place as it attempts to put on a useful and relevant CES 2022 despite being battered by health, travel, shipping and supply-chain problems completely out of its control. One can only hope for a better CES 2023.
©️Copyright 2021 Robert S. Anthony, Stadium Circle Features
Whoa! This is big, Bob. I'd have expected Sony and Canon to make an announcement instead of quietly stepping away. You're right that none of this is CES/CTA's fault. They just happen to be the very first major global event of the calendar. Events further down the road, the Governor's Awards (Jan 16), World Economic Forum (Jan 17-21) and other have postponed. I guess CES feels postponement is impossible.