CES Paves the Way Forward with Its First Virtual Event

January 19, 2021
CES Paves the Way Forward with Its First Virtual Event

The first fully virtual CES put the spotlight on nearly 2,000 technology companies to see how the future is unfolding. In that regard, and in many other aspects, the event—proclaimed the largest digital industry event ever—was an unqualified success despite moving to an all-digital venue this year.

CES showed how the pandemic accelerated the arc of innovation and illustrated the resilience and innovative spirit of our industry,” said Gary Shapiro president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, the group behind the annual mega-event, in a statement.

As trade shows have been forced online, one of the biggest challenges facing organizations and event planners is effectively showcasing their exhibitors.

While the forum was decidedly different, CES adopted a tried-and-true model to give its companies a forum to the world. Namely, the trade show included dozens of press conferences and sessions allowing exhibitors to display new products and ideas.

As proof of the event’s power, nearly 700 startup companies from 37 countries participated in the virtual show. The range of exhibitors was particularly varied, with household brands one would expect every year at CES represented. These included Intel, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics alongside nontraditional tech show exhibitors such as AARP, Bridgestone, Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge, John Deere, L’Oréal, Moen and Procter & Gamble.

“The all-digital format brought new voices to the tech conversation,” noted Karen Chupka, CES executive vice president. 

Without question, the pandemic was ever-present throughout the event. Beyond the digital venue powered by Microsoft, the crux of the technology and presentation centered around the rapid innovation spurred by the dramatic shift in how the world is communicating, working and meeting. Key topics covered included:

  • Online privacy, trust and security
  • The advent of 5G to further enhance digital solutions
  • Medical technology
  • Advancements in laptops and other devices required to improve global communication and coordination
  • How artificial intelligence will further play a role in how we live and work
  • Further use and improvements in cloud computing
  • And diversity and inclusion—key considerations in the tech field and for virtual and hybrid events going forward.

CES utilized an anchor desk similar to a nightly news broadcast, perhaps a guiding light as companies and organizations adopt hybrid or omnichannel approaches that create different content for in-person and remote attendees. 

Meanwhile, the show maintained its star power as Mark Cuban, will.i.am, Ryan Seacrest and other notables participated as speakers and panelists.

“The all-digital CES 2021 engaged the global tech community to experience innovation, make connections and conduct business,” Shapiro said. 

Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE and engage with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Located in beautiful North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee is the perfect mountain getaway with breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and new additions to its resort and conference spaces sure to elevate any meetings or event. Completed in 2021, Harrah’s Cherokee’s latest $330 million expansion project introduced an entirely new fourth hotel tower, The Cherokee, as well as an additional 83,000 square feet of meeting space with the Cherokee Convention Center. The Cherokee tower brings with it 725 rooms and 70 luxurious suites spread out over 19 floors for a grand total of 1,800 rooms across the entire resort. The new rooms feature a sleek design with an earth-toned color palette and modern amenities. In addition to the new rooms, the expansion also brought with it a luxurious new lobby and lobby bar, a fitness center, a coffee & pastry bar, and a second pool. Conventions, trade shows, banquets, receptions, and even the smallest, most intimate gatherings can find the perfect arrangement at Harrah’s Cherokee with its 130,000 square feet of flexible meeting space – including the Cherokee Convention Center. The resort offers a myriad of different spaces and configuration options for events, but the largest spaces include the following: 32,000-sq-ft Cherokee Convention Center ballroom with 22 meeting spaces 11,100-sq-ft Cherokee Convention Center ballroom pre-function space 33,000-sq-ft Cherokee Exhibit Hall 6,000-sq-ft Cherokee Exhibit Hall Pre-Function 13,801-sq-ft Council Fire Ballroom able to be reconfigured into as many as four ballrooms from 3,100 to 3,529-sq-ft each 16,815-sq-ft Event Center able to be configured in six different ways to accommodate 100 to 1,500 guests and offers four VIP suites, box seating, and more than 1,100 balcony seats. In addition to the new accommodations and meeting space, Harrah’s Cherokee has also opened several new restaurants as part of the expansion including Guy Fieri’s Cherokee Kitchen + Bar which includes the chef’s award-winning burgers and barbeque on the menu. Another celebrity chef has also made their mark on the resort with the opening of Gordon Ramsay Food Market which features eight dining concepts ranging from sushi to New York-style deli sandwiches and classic fine-dining fare. Longtime Asheville favorite, Wicked Weed Brewing Pub has also debuted a new location next to Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center creating the perfect after-event center with its bright and bold design, over thirty different beers, and live music on weekends. An easy drive from many of the largest cities in the Southeast, Harrah’s Cherokee provides the perfect blend of majestic mountainscapes, luxurious new accommodations, and authentic Native American culture.