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CES 2022 attendance down 75% from last in-person event in 2020

CES saw a sharp decrease in attendance amidst the surge in COVID-19 cases.

CES recently concluded its first in-person event since January 2020. Returning to Las Vegas, the conference featured first glimpses at the latest technology from the industry’s leading names. As the Omicron variant of Covid-19 dominated the United States, CES 2022 saw a 75% decrease in attendance from its 2020 event.

The Consumer Technology Association, the organizers of CES announced the official attendance numbers for the event over this past weekend, as we learned from a Yahoo News report. CES 2022 pulled in just over 45,000 attendees over the course of its multi-day event last week. The last in-person CES in January 2020 saw over 170,000 people in attendance. This represents a 75% drop in attendance between shows. Of course, the majority of this can be attributed to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CES 2020 pulled in more than 170,000 attendees

We all knew it was an ambitious goal when CES announced its plans to return to an in-person event in Las Vegas in 2022. Though Covid-19 cases were on the decline in a lot of places around the world, there was still (and continues to be) a frighteningly little amount of certainty surrounding the pandemic. In the weeks and months leading up to CES 2022, the Omicron variant hit the United States (and the rest of the world) incredibly hard, posting record case numbers for a lot of areas. The surge in cases led to a lot of big names pulling out of CES 2022 at the last minute and is likely the result of such a harsh drop in attendance this year.

CES 2022 may have had just a quarter of its attendance from a couple years ago, but the event still featured several major announcements. For more reflection on the show itself and the idea of still holding it despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, Senior Editor Ozzie Mejia wrote about his trip to CES 2022 this year.