Can I See Your Conference Badge... Oh and Your Vaccine Card Too?

Can I See Your Conference Badge... Oh and Your Vaccine Card Too?

Aug. 17, 2021
The Consumer Electronics Show will require proof of vaccination for entrance into the world's largest tech show.

It’s not just companies in a quandary over requiring vaccine shots, major conferences are grappling with this issue as well.

What if the majority of your attendees aren’t vaccinated? Do you take the chance and lose business?

Well, if you are the largest tech show in the world, you can call the shots. CES, Consumer Electronics Show, which had 182,000 in attendance in 2019,  and will take place on Jan 5-8, 2022 in Las Vegas, has decided.

And safety is at the top of its concerns. On August 17, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced that all attendees and exhibitors will need to show proof of vaccination in order to attend CES.

In a statement, front and center of its website on the show, its CEO Gary Shapiro says: "Based on today’s science, we understand vaccines offer us the best hope for stopping the spread of COVID-19. We all play a part in ending the pandemic through encouraging vaccinations and implementing the right safety protocols. We are taking on our responsibility by requiring proof of vaccination to attend CES 2022 in Las Vegas.”

Shapiro spells out his reasoning in a letter on the site, part of which are included below.

Vaccines are readily available in the United States and several other countries. More and more Americans are now fully vaccinated. However, as vaccines are making their way around the world, so is a new threat – the Delta variant.   We have seen a spike in cases due to the Delta variant, which is severely hurting the unvaccinated population. Yes, there are breakthrough cases for the vaccinated, but many of those have few or no symptoms at all. And of the vaccinated getting the Delta variant, only a tiny percentage are hospitalized.   

We prioritize the safety and security of CES participants. Which is why, once again, my team has confronted a major decision: CES will be in person in Las Vegas in January 2022, and we will require all attendees to be fully vaccinated. We are also assessing proof of a positive antibody test as a requirement and will share more details on this later. Importantly, we will continue to follow state and local guidelines and recommendations by the CDC and will announce additional protocols as we get closer to the show.  

We know our decision to require vaccines—and potentially positive antibody tests—may not be popular for some, but for many others it will allow them to know they can experience CES once again—and get back to business as usual.

There is also guidance on masks. “We will follow state and local guidelines and recommendations by the CDC.  Masks are currently required in all public, indoor spaces in Las Vegas. CTA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, and additional protocols will be announced closer to the show. “

This is an interesting development regarding mandatory vaccines and given the show is months away, it speaks to the association’s view to tackling this issue, upfront. Some conferences have already followed suit.

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) annual conference and expo, Safety 2021, will require attendees show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result within 48 hours of arrival for entry to the in-person event being held Sept. 13-15 in Austin.

IPC announced that for APEX EXPO 2022, the global trade association will follow California Department of Public Health guidelines for "indoor mega events" involving 1,000 more participants. Attendees will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours  of arrival to the in-person event being held Jan. 22-27 in San Diego.

We’ll watch to see what other conferences decide to do. 

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