Virtual auto, CES, NADA shows face hard reality

Trade shows are a different animal altogether. But the Canadian developments seem foreboding for a couple of major events coming up early next year: CES and the NADA Show.

CES, the consumer electronics show that is usually held in Las Vegas, has grown into the pre-eminent auto show in North America — even as the transportation industry vies for attention there with gaming, photography, robotics and every other type of breakthrough technology one can imagine.

Switching to a virtual format this year led to a partnership with Microsoft, which has a suite of software for group meetings and what is now essentially a video production, said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which hosts CES.

“We’re also creating it so that exhibitors will have their own video presence and an interactive link which allows them to meet with potential customers, show off technology, and it’ll be a very

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Microsoft tapped to power all-virtual CES 2021 after learning on its own large-scale digital events

(CTA screen shot)

Microsoft isn’t just taking the stage at the big CES conference next year, it’s helping to actually power the stage, as the Consumer Technology Association announced Monday that it has selected the tech giant as its technology partner for the all-digital event.

CES 2021 will use Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Power Platform to deliver an exhibitor showcase, media events, conference programming, networking events and more over four days, Jan. 11-14.

The annual conference usually attracts many thousands of exhibitors, attendees and media from around the world for an in-person event in Las Vegas. CTA will rely instead on Microsoft to connect everything via the cloud, and the company feels like staging its own large-scale events over the past several months has helped it learn a ton.

In a blog post Monday, Microsoft’s Bob Bejan, corporate VP for global events, said that the company has “experimented

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