Lenovo to ‘suspend’ in-person CES activities as more exhibitors embrace omicron caution – TechCrunch

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Update: Waymo officially added its name to the list, becoming one of the first notable automakers to do so. In a blog post, the Alphabet subsidiary noted, “Based on the rapidly increasing rates of COVID-19 infection, Waymo has made the difficult decision not to attend CES 2022 in person. always aim to participate virtually in some CES related events.

The list of exhibitors retiring from an in-person CES was small but powerful yesterday. What it lacked, however, was a big name on the hardware side. Yesterday, Google, HTC, John Deere, TCL and BMW had all confirmed to TechCrunch that they were still present for the big Vegas event, while “continuing to monitor the situation.” Samsung, meanwhile, issued a press release surrounding his in-person speech.

Back then, we were still waiting for word from a handful of big names, including Lenovo. This morning, the PC giant confirmed it would “suspend” in-person activities at the Consumer Electronics Show. Following an announcement on Twitter, the company told TechCrunch in a statement:

After closely monitoring current trends surrounding COVID, it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and our communities to suspend all on-site activity in Las Vegas. While this is a change in plans, we’re excited for all of you to see our latest tech launch as planned on January 4-5.

Yesterday, we noted similarities with the Mobile World Congress, which had the misfortune of hosting an event in Barcelona as the first wave of COVID-19 hit Europe in 2020. Once the major hardware players got there started to recede, it was the beginning of the end for that year’s show. There have been big names for CES so far – most notable on the sponsor side is T-Mobile, later followed by fellow operator AT&T, who opted to “forgo in-person participation” at the show. .

A number of media outlets – including us – have made similar announcements, as have Meta, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok, and Pinterest. Although, although all the big names, none have traditionally had a major presence at the hardware show. Lenovo, on the other hand, is a big player in the space.

Last night, the CTA – the governing body behind the event – remains steadfast, telling TechCrunch, “given the comprehensive health measures at CES – vaccination requirement, masking and availability of COVID tests -” 19 – Coupled with low attendance and social distancing measures, we believe attendees and exhibitors can have a socially remote but useful and productive event in Las Vegas, as well as a rewarding experience on our digital access.

The organization also cites a so far limited number of cancellations. You can’t draw an exact parallel with MWC – things surrounding the pandemic are certainly different from what they were almost two years ago. We know much more about its transmission and have since seen the arrival of several vaccines and, in many places, boosters. In particular, CTA has been transparent about its health protocols, including vaccination mandates.

Omicron, meanwhile, as it rages across parts of the United States, may have a silver lining in its relative severity, some early figures show. However, many questions remain, including a likely increase in the number of vacation trips, just ahead of the big Vegas event. An abundance of caution is understandable, and Lenovo likely won’t be the last company to change its plans.

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