LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — T-Mobile says it will "significantly limit" in-person participation at CES, set to take place in Las Vegas in early January, and the company's CEO, Mike Sievert, will no longer offer a keynote presentation.
This comes as Bloomberg, CNET and other technology websites report that Amazon, Meta, Pinterest and Twitter have canceled plans to attend the tech conference in person amid uncertainty around the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
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T-Mobile says it will continue to sponsor the event but the majority of its team will not travel to Vegas, citing safety concerns, and that it looks forward to in-person CES in 2023.
Read the company's full statement below.
After careful consideration and discussion, T-Mobile has made the difficult decision to significantly limit our in-person participation at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. While we are confident that CES organizers are taking exhaustive measures to protect in-person attendees and we had many preventative practices in place as well, we are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision. T-Mobile will continue to serve as a CES sponsor and title sponsor of the DRL Championship Race but the vast majority of our team will not be traveling to Las Vegas. Additionally, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert will no longer be offering a keynote in-person or virtually. T-Mobile’s entire team looks forward to an in-person CES 2023, which we hope includes an on-stage keynote in front of a live audience. We extend our sincere thanks to the entire CES staff for their hard work during these challenging times.
The senior vice president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Lori Nelson-Kraft, says the agency "respects it’s a personal decision to travel or attend events in person" but went on to ensure safety measures are in place.
Kraft points to vaccine requirements, free COVID testing kits for exhibitors and attendees, and virtual options for the event.
Read Kraft's full statement on behalf of the LVCVA below:
“We appreciate how proactive CTA has been to provide the safest and healthiest environment for its attendees and exhibitors. We respect it’s a personal decision to travel or attend events in person, however, CTA has done a terrific job of implementing additional layers of health and safety measures ensuring CES will be a fully vaccinated show, providing complimentary COVID testing kits for their exhibitors and attendees and offering a CES digital experience for anyone unable or not comfortable traveling.
"Here at the Las Vegas Convention Center and throughout the Las Vegas destination, we continue to provide the gold standard of all known and available health and safety protocols and continue to follow all guidance by health experts and our local and state leaders.“
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CES is the world's largest tech show and over 2,100 exhibitors are expected to showcase their products this year. Financial experts estimate the event brings in around $300 million to the local economy annually.
Last year, the event was virtual for the first time in its history.
For 2022, it's scheduled to take place at various locations on the Las Vegas Strip beginning Jan. 3 through Jan. 7.