Tech

Photos show deserted CES, and wow

Prior to the pandemic, CES was a sight to behold.

The annual Las Vegas consumer electronics convention typically draws massive crowds, with journalists jockeying for space and scoops as thousands of exhibitors show off their wares. But with the coronavirus continuing to run rampant across the United States, 2022 is not a typical year — a fact made clear by photos showing the comparatively empty halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Mashable, along with many of the tech companies we cover, chose not to attend the conference this year. On-the-ground photos from those who did go, however, show that decision was hardly a unique one. Pictures taken by Heather Delaney, who runs the brand consulting form Gallium Ventures, and shared on Twitter really bring that point home.

Notably, convention rooms are usually shoulder-to-shoulder packed in the mornings during CES, but photos of the first day of the conference tell a different story. As a point of comparison, CES says it drew 171,268 attendees in 2020. Here’s what that looked like.

A packed hall at CES.

The Las Vegas Convention Center was a lot more packed during 2020’s CES.
Credit: Mario Tama / Getty

Crowds at CES 2020.

This photo, also from CES 2020, shows what the typical crowds are like.
Credit: David Becker / Getty

CES was, even before the advent of COVID-19, known as a germ soup. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that people now accustomed to remote work might chose to sit out a massive in-person event amidst — as of the time of this writing — a coronavirus surge in the U.S.

Even so, photos and reports from those who did choose to attend demonstrate just how many people decided traveling to Las Vegas wasn’t worth it.

Now, it’s not like CES is completely dead. People did show, though we’ll need to wait until it’s all wrapped up to get an official in-person attendance count.

Even so, if early reports are any indication, it looks like 2022 will be shadow of former CES years — a fact that surely won’t take event organizers by surprise. On Dec. 31, those very organizers announced that the conference would end on Jan. 7, a full day earlier than previously planned.

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