CES 2022 Wraps, Inspiring Event Marketers and Tech Enthusiasts
Abby Long is the Senior Managing Editor at PMG.
The metaverse was the ‘next big thing’ of CES, with a number of conversations, keynote sessions, and exhibiting companies focused on the topic. Facebook parent company Meta and its Oculus system are market leaders, though many companies took to the CES stage to unveil immersive hardware and digital experiences that build out the concept of a new virtual and augmented reality, including Sony’s new PlayStation VR 2 headset and Sense controller and HTC’s Vive wrist controller for the Vive Focus3 headset.
“This is the first time in a while that we see a new and strong topic emerging at CES, as for years this has always been about AI, internet-of-things or autonomous vehicles,” said Pedro Pacheco, senior research director at market research firm Gartner. “At the moment, many companies are including metaverse on their long-term tech roadmap thinking about how they should bring it to life.”
Some of our favorite virtual exhibits included Samsung’s Decentraland metaverse store, GM’s Exhibit Zero, and the P&G beautysphere, all of which explored important topics of automation, consumer privacy, decentralization, and sustainability using AR/VR technologies in new and exciting ways.
Other takeaways included,
Healthcare goes DTC: The latest in virtual healthcare assistants, elder care technology, connected healthcare-at-home devices, and digital wellness were on full display at CES. Exhibitors such as Abbott, Essence, Hapbee, and AI personal trainer Atlis demonstrated the products and technologies helping healthcare go digital. In a testament to its growing importance in our world, Robert B. Ford, president and CEO of Abbott, delivered the first-ever healthcare-focused keynote in CES history, marking the occasion by unveiling wearable biosensors.
Product innovations to power immersive entertainment: With people spending more and more time with their favorite screens, companies like Sony and LG have announced more immervisve experiences for consuming content. These products include upgraded OLED and 8K TV screens that offer viewers ultra-realistic imagery and the opportunity to be closer to the action of their favorite TV shows, live sporting events, esports games, and more.
One of the biggest stories coming out of CES was how event organizers were able to successfully bring thousands of people together in person safely. Health protocols at CES 2022 required in-person attendees to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination upon check-in as well as masking indoors, with on-site testing available, social distancing measures, and advanced ventilation and cleaning protocols overseen by leading infectious disease experts and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).
“Despite a 70 percent drop in attendance compared to pre-pandemic figures, it’s hard to ignore that over 40,000 people got on a plane, booked a hotel, and attended CES,” said Craig Calloway, associate director, client strategy at PMG. “It’s demonstrable progress from where we were this time last year. From what we’re hearing, the health protocols put in place by CES organizers were largely well-received, and those who attended in person felt safe. It’s obvious people are hungry for a return to in-person experiences, and CES showed us that it may be possible to deliver a safe experience at scale. Now, it’s up to business leaders and event marketers to figure out what makes the most sense for their business and customers.”
Major trade groups kept a watchful eye on attendance and sentiment surrounding CES last week, calling the trade show a “test case” for understanding the feasibility of organizing a live event in today’s climate. “By staging an influential live event that safely convenes thousands of global professionals across the technology, business and political spectrum [30 percent of attendees hailed from outside the U.S., representing 119 countries], CES is nothing short of a model for how business trade events can and should take place in 2022,” said U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow.
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CES 2022 set the stage for the future of global events as the hybrid approach achieved its mission to showcase innovation while accounting for the unpredictability of the pandemic and varying degrees of personal comfort, all while giving everyone — whether attending in person or virtual — an experience worth remembering.
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