If you thought the Pandemic had had its impact on the world, think again. The long-lasting effects of the global changes in travel, quarantine, and the lack of any real fight against the virus means things are changing for more than just the next little while.

Organisers of the biggest Technology show in the world – CES – have announced that the 2021 Show will be “all digital”.

This means the City of Las Vegas, normally over-run by Technology companies, retailers, analysts and media from around the world will be quiet.

It’s a huge decision for the event organisers, but given the close contact required at a show of this size, and the scale of the event overall – it just wasn’t possible to host a physical event.

How a “digital” event works is really yet to be tested, with the annual IFA show in Berlin in September the first to take this approach.

For retail stores around the world, including our own Harvey Norman, JB HiFi, Officeworks and many more this means a complete change in their buying process.

This event, along with others was the perfect opportunity to meet with multiple vendors, see large numbers of products, find new products and do the supply deals that lead to products hitting store shelves across Australia throughout the year.

For analysts, it’s a lost opportunity to quiz company directors about their year ahead plans, to compare one company’s approach to another within a few hundred steps across a hall.

And for the Media it means no insights into the products coming and the innovations across technology.

For Las Vegas it means millions of dollars in lost income, no hotel room bookings, no drinks, no gambling, no shows being booked – it’s a huge blow to the area.

2021 is already shaping up to be a very different year.