Daily Buzz: CES Goes All-Digital in 2021

The Consumer Technology Association announced a fully virtual format for its marquee event after previously preparing for a hybrid meeting. Also: how HR can stave off employee burnout.

CES, widely acknowledged as the largest and one of the most influential tech events in the world, will go fully digital in 2021 due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced Tuesday.

The first week in January usually sees hordes of tech exhibitors and attendees convene in Las Vegas to see behemoths like Microsoft, Google, and Samsung unveil and promote new products. The 2020 show drew more than 170,000 people.

Previously, CTA had been planning a hybrid event with an in-person element, which drew attention after The Verge reported the news in June. But with concerns about COVID-19 still strong, CTA is taking the event fully virtual for the first time.

“For CES, the pandemic gives us an opportunity to reimagine how we use our platform to bring our community together in a meaningful way and enable our exhibitors to meet their customers and to reach new audiences,” said CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro in a video released by the association. “Our exhibitors, partners, and thought leaders will now have the time to plan, to think, to create compelling ways to engage digital audiences from around the world.”

Shapiro said CTA is planning for an in-person show in 2022. Earlier this year, CTA retired its fledgling CES Asia conference, which launched in 2015 and had been an annual event.

How HR Leaders Can Prevent Burnout

More than 68 percent of remote employees say they are experiencing burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Human Resource Executive. This widespread condition—now included in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases—puts human resources departments at the forefront of responding to workers’ needs.

What’s the fix here? HR consultant Beth Scherer stresses the importance of flexibility. “Being able to be flexible in allowing [employees] to break up how they need to manage that work at home is definitely key to alleviating some of the pressure they may feel beyond that typical 9-5,” Scherer says.

Other Links of Note

If your association has pandemic “downtime,” MultiBriefs suggests using it to do a marketing deep-clean.

Not all virtual event tech is created equal, says Community by Association, so choose wisely and leverage what you already have.

An auto-renewal option can boost member retention, particularly among the 13 percent who let their memberships lapse merely because they forgot to renew, says YourMembership.

CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro, right, greets Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian at the 2020 edition of CES. (Delta News Hub/Flickr)

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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