COVID19 has changed the world, and how we communicate, educate, work, and generally live day to day. Conference events sensibly are one of the aspects that have certainly changed (at least in the short term).
About this time of year for the last few years I've been arriving in Las Vegas to attend CES. CES is by far the largest annual technology event in the world and for someone who loves tech in all its forms its a dream come true with new and upcoming devices and wizardry at every turn for you to look at, touch and try out.
I believe last years attendance at the 4 day event was over 170,000 people. Unfortunately that number of humans descending on Las Vegas from all over the world, to wander around the conference centre halls and hotels during a global pandemic was seen as a risk to far and the organisers the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) joined forces with Microsoft to make this years event virtual. I am genuinely excited to see how this works and tomorrow the vail will be lifted.
I am going to very much miss getting up close and personal with the devices, to photograph them and try them out in person. But it also means I don't have to venture on up to two wintery flights and travelling away from home during a pretty busy part of the year.
I'll be trading the sparkling lights of Vegas for my home desk on a mountain in British Columbia. But aside from saving my legs from walking thousands of steps, this year might provide a means of consuming more information. I'll be setup with three screens to consume content, one to conference and one to take notes. My desk is going to feel like mission control.
I hope when CES 2022 comes around it has some physical and onsite elements of CES return so we can physically interact with the new tech, but till then lets look forward to making the most of the media we are able to get exposed to.