i3 | January 03, 2022

The Magic of CES

Gary Shapiro
Beyond the Everyday banner

Each January, CES provides our industry and the world with a big jolt of optimism as tech leaders and change-makers gather to see one another and experience the innovation that springs forth from the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and creators.

At CES 2020, we gathered in Las Vegas with the global economy humming. Back in January 2020, no one could have predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would bring global commerce to a near standstill and completely reshape the way we live, work and connect. While the pandemic disrupted our lives in ways large and small, it also increased demand for tech products and innovations, accelerating longstanding trends pushing us towards streaming entertainment, remote work and telehealth, and leading to a boom in consumer tech purchases.

At our first ever all-digital CES in 2021, exhibitors appreciated the opportunity to connect with customers and media and reach a truly global audience — including thousands of people who tuned in for the first time. But we also missed the face-to-face meetings and casual conversations that are so critical for building relationships. As I always say, there’s nothing like the discovery, serendipity and magic that you find on the show floor.

We can’t wait to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, get up close with the latest tech innovations, and hear from the leaders who have stepped up.

That’s why I’m so thrilled to be welcoming the consumer technology community back to Las Vegas. Speaking on behalf of the entire CTA team, we can’t wait to catch up with friends old and new, get up close with the latest tech innovations, and hear from the leaders who have stepped up in a uniquely challenging time. In fact, the pace of innovation has accelerated so much since our last trip to Las Vegas that we’ve added three entirely new tech categories to the show — space tech, food tech and digital assets. We certainly have a lot of catching up to do.

And of course, there’s no shortage of big issues to discuss at CES 2022! Chip shortages, supply chain disruptions, inflation, worker shortages, shifting customer demand and a host of other COVID-related hurdles make planning difficult and clear communication important. Meanwhile, our industry is working overtime to fend off regulatory overreach and make the case that “big tech” isn’t the boogeyman. To the contrary, tech companies have done incredible good — both during the last several years of the pandemic and beyond. To solve the world’s biggest challenges — sustainability, accessibility, equity and more — leadership from our industry is critical, and opportunities abound.

I hope you have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season, and I look forward to the joy of seeing many of you face-to-face in January. And to steal a line from CES EVP Karen Chupka, don’t forget to bring your comfortable shoes!

Gary Shapiro,

President and CEO

i3 magazine January/February 2022 cover

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