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CES 2022 drew an unusually low crowd of 44,000-plus attendees – Source

Over the quarter of a century that I’ve been covering CES in Las Vegas, I’ve used a lot of words to describe this annual tech-industry gathering. Until this year, “efficient” was not one of them.

But with the resurgent pandemic deflating CES 2022’s attendance to what the Arlington, Va.-based Consumer Technology Association reported Friday as “well over 44,000 attendees”—down from 171,000 in in January 2020, shortly before COVID-19 struck—this show might as well have been governed by different laws of physics.

Most of CES’s customary lines—to collect an attendee badge, watch a panel, get a press-room lunch—were gone. Commutes between venues didn’t congeal like usual, with the almost 1.5-mile ride from the Venetian Expo to the Las Vegas Convention Center taking under 10 minutes instead of the 44 minutes I experienced in 2020.

Along with enforcing masking, CES had to deal with new issues such as helping people convey whether they’d prefer a handshake, a fist…

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