Global tech show CES attracts 15,000 sign-ups since Omicron

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Attendees head to the trade show floor as it opens at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2020 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

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NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - About 15,000 people have registered to attend global tech show CES in person in the past 10 days, the organizer said on Friday, in a sign of momentum for in-person events despite global fears about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In total, "tens of thousands" of people have registered so far for the show, the organizer said, without citing a specific figure.

The Omicron variant was first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong last month, sparking global concerns about a fast-spreading new version of the virus and lowering prospects that recent increases in travel would continue.

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More than 1,900 companies have committed to attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, about half the pre-pandemic level.

Major companies like Sony Electronics (6758.T) and industry executives including General Motors Co's (GM.N) CEO, Mary Barra plan to travel to Las Vegas, although some including Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) have planned a largely virtual presence for some time.

"We're not unrealistic: the show's going to be smaller this year," said Jean Foster, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Consumer Technology Association, the group organizing the CES show. "It allows us to widen the aisles and accommodate social distancing."

She said interest in in-person attendance is still "full steam ahead."

All attendees will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for the show, which is open Jan. 5-8.

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Reporting by Danielle Kaye in New York and Jane Lanhee Lee in Oakland, Calif. Editing by Matthew Lewis

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