OMG! Everyone freak out! It's CES Tuesday!
For the past 45 years, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has highlighted the most innovative, must-have tech essentials while providing the mainstream a glimpse at the clear value of trade shows.
As I've eluciaded for the past few years, trade shows are having a hard time. Yet, they're not dying; they're changing fundamentally.
Consider CES, a hardy event, but this year the show is moving forward with fewer major news announcements onsite. The show is also losing some anchor exhibitors such as Microsoft (2012 will be their last CES exhibition and the company will no longer deliver the opening night keynote).
So what of this "Tech Show Loses Clout" headline over at The New York Times?
“For the larger guys, the show has become less important,” said Phil McKinney, who retired recently as the chief technology officer for the computer division at Hewlett-Packard, which stopped having a booth at the show in 2009. “The challenge for C.E.S. is when you start losing more and more of these anchor-type brands, does it cause a tipping point?”
[CES] was expecting more than 2,700 exhibitors at this week’s event, compared with 2,800 the year before, although it does not have a final number yet because it is still selling space. Attendance for the show last year was more than 149,000, but it’s too soon to tell whether this year will exceed that figure. Some companies that have stopped exhibiting on the floor still hold private meetings at the event because so many people attend it. [emphasis added]
C.E.S. has no rival in its ability to attract top-tier executives in the tech industry, media, retailers and others from the around the world. “C.E.S. is the dominant show in consumer technology by any measure,” Gary Shapiro, CES head, said.
It would be easy to declare trade shows dead, when viewing this single story through myoptic lenses. But see, in bold, the evolving trade shop is now being used as a centerpiece for related industry events.
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Image: (CC) LGEPR