The Consumer Technology Association announced today that Verizon CEO and chairman Hans Vestberg will give the opening keynote address at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, the trade org’s annual tech conference.
Vestberg, who’s held the top executive role at Verizon since March 2018, will discuss prescient technologies including 5G, telemedicine and remote learning.
CTA announced in July that the annual gathering, which brought more than 180,000 people to Las Vegas for the 2020 edition, would be fully digital for 2021. As always, there will be demonstrations of the latest technologies, ideas shared by cutting-edge thought leaders and a virtual setup that CTA promises will be immersive.
“Technology is not only connecting us to one another, but is providing solutions to many day-to-day challenges created by the pandemic,” said CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro in a statement. “That innovation is helping us reimagine CES 2021.”
CES is Las Vegas’ biggest trade show and adds $300 million to the city’s bottom line. The National Association of Broadcasters, which typically holds its annual NAB Show in Las Vegas in April, announced Wednesday it is moving the show to October but still planning an in-person gathering.
Perhaps highlighting the world of difference between the previous January and the upcoming one, it was Delta CEO Ed Bastian who kicked off the conference early this year in Las Vegas, delivering the first CES keynote by an airline. Since then, the airline industry has been decimated by Covid-19 despite $25 billion in bailouts.
The two companies’ stock market performance paints a telling picture of this contrast: Verizon, which has pivoted from a telecommunications company to a technology company in recent years, has fully recovered after a March 2020 dip. Delta, meanwhile, is struggling to hang onto half of its January 2020 value.
Tech and telecom companies have been vital during the novel coronavirus pandemic, keeping businesses and workers connected, building out remote learning infrastructure for schools and simply keeping our day-to-day lives running amid the chaos.
“Verizon’s keynote for CES will demonstrate the vital role that mobility, broadband and cloud—or the world’s 21st century infrastructure—has played in connecting the world this year, and how the accelerated shift to 5G is transforming every industry,” said Vestberg in a statement.
“This time in history is redefining the meaning of connectivity for consumers, industries and society as a whole—imagination is our only threshold.”
CES, which has served as a global stage to highlight innovation and technology for more than half a century, will take place from Jan. 11-14, 2021.