CES gadget show turnout falls more than 75% thanks to COVID

<p><p>LAS VEGAS — Attendance at this week’s CES gadget show in Las Vegas fell more than 75% compared to its previous in-person event two years ago, its organizer said Friday.</p></p><p><p>The Consumer Technology Association said on the show’s closing day that more than 40,000 people attended the multi-day event on the Las Vegas Strip.</p></p><p><p>That’s less than a quarter of the more than 170,000 the CTA said were there for its 2020 convention.</p></p><p><p>The COVID-19 pandemic led the CTA to take 2021’s conference online, but the trade group decided eight months ago to bring a physical CES 2022 back to Vegas.</p></p><p><p>That proved challenging amid a global spike in infections caused by the fast-moving omicron coronavirus variant that emerged late last year.</p></p><p><p>Conference attendees were required to wear masks on the exhibition floors that opened Wednesday and show proof of vaccination before they arrived.</p></p><p><p>But the rise in COVID-19 cases led a number of big tech companies to pull out of the conference in the weeks before the event.</p></p>