CES 2022 downsizes as Panasonic, IBM, Mercedes-Benz and BMW opt out

The hits keep coming for CES as four more big-name exhibitors have opted out of in-person activities at next week’s event. The show will go on, however, as organizers are spinning the message to focus on smaller entrepreneurs and innovators rather than big name companies.

A spokesperson for IBM told The Verge that out of an abundance of caution, they have decided not to participate on-site in Las Vegas but still look forward to having a virtual presence.

Similarly, German automaker BMW said it is moving all planned media activities at CES to a fully online program that’ll be available on January 5. Fellow German automaker Mercedes-Benz is also a late scratch, telling CNET that due to the large number of participants and the different country-specific regulations, they cannot guarantee a safe environment and thus, have canceled their participation at CES 2022.

Panasonic, meanwhile, confirmed to Mashable that they would not be participating in-person at CES, either.

The four join a growing list of exhibitors that have already opted out including AMD, MSI, OnePlus, Microsoft, Lenovo, GM, Intel, Meta, Twitter, Pinterest, Google and Amazon, among others.

Shapiro in a piece published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on December 25 said CES will and must go on.

“If we cancel the show, we will hurt thousands of smaller companies, entrepreneurs and innovators who have made investments in building their exhibits and are counting on CES for their business, inspiration and future,” Shapiro said.

“If we do not cancel, we face the drumbeat of press and other critics who tell the story only through their lens of drama and big name companies.”