In the myriad of articles written about the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) before and during the event, the attendance figure of 160,000 was used. A just-released post-show news release said International CES 2015 had the largest attendance in its history, more than 170,000 people visiting some 3600 exhibitors occupying 2.2 million net square feet of exhibit space. Of the 170,000 attendees, 45,000 came from outside the U.S.
Yep, CES 2015, held January 6-9 and sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association, was a big show, having three sections. CES Tech East included the Las Vegas Convention Center, Westgate Las Vegas and the Renaissance Las Vegas. CES Tech West included the Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, Sands Expo & Convention Center and The Venetian Las Vegas. C Space, for conference sessions, was at the Aria Hotel & Casino. Buses took attendees to and from all three locations. Other buses brought attendees to and from local hotels.
I couldn’t help but notice just how many Las Vegans had work because of this massive convention, the city’s largest. Cab drivers, bus drivers, entertainers, cooks, models, lift-truck drivers, waiters, waitresses, security personnel, exhibit builders, men and women distributing badges, maintenance workers, delivery companies, hotels, casinos….everybody was busy last week. CES says the consumer electronics industry is projected to reach an all-time high of $223.2 billion in 2015 (so the show will go on!)
What were my impressions of CES, the trade show? I visited just one of the sites, the Las Vegas Convention Center, but here goes:
A number of exhibitors offered “free” items if attention were paid to particular parts of their exhibits. I would think that for electronics professionals, waiting in line for a t-shirt or a screen saver would be a waste of time .. but many show attendees did it.
Curved TVs are in and I loved them.
CES at the convention center also seemed to be loaded with automobiles … showing off their abilities to be driverless, internet-friendly and filled with mind-blowing sound. I drive short distances in Las Vegas, but apparently the folks with long commutes will be asked to continually enhance the driving experience with the help of electronics, fuel cells and a hefty bank account.
Foreign languages were everywhere, but I particularly noticed the Asians. They were in the crowds, they were manning booths, some even gave presentations in heavily accented English. I spoke with a manufacturer from San Francisco who said, had I gone to the Sands Expo & Convention Center, I’d have seen more exhibitors from South America and Europe as well. This particular manufacturer said his company’s products were made in China, Mexico and Eastern Europe with just a small manufacturing facility in the U.S. “for emergencies”.
Celebrities were on hand at the show, and throughout the week, the local entertainment reporters noted where folks like Shaquille O’Neal or Ryan Seacrest were spotted. Me? On the show floor, I saw Elvis and Marilyn Monroe impersonators, and that’s it. Speaking of celebrities, a friend and I were invited to the Canon Customer Appreciation Reception held at the Bellagio Las Vegas on Wednesday night of CES. This event featured a number of attending celebrities (none of whom were at our table) and is also a fund-raiser for the Center for Missing & Exploited Children. John Walsh, co-founder of the Center, was present and talked numbers.
Canon U.S.A. has been involved with the Center for Missing & Exploited Children for 20 years and has raised more than $5 million for the Center and donated more than 3000 pieces of equipment used in the search for missing children. The U.S., said Walsh, is the number one buyer of sex-trafficing of children, “a problem that nobody wants to talk about”. In the last eight years, the Center, partnered with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, has recovered 3600 juveniles from pimps. Since 2009, 728 missing children have been recovered after the issuance of amber alerts, which are critical in the first four hours after a child is reported missing.
The Canon event raises money through auction items as well as sponsorships from other CES-involved companies.
Other interesting statistics: In a study released by the Consumer Electronics Association at the show, two highlights:
The millennial demographic group (age 13 to 34) is comfortable using many different sources of TV program content and consequently are more likely to consume full-length TV programs from streaming sources than live TV.
Mlllenials also value their Netflix subscriptions more than broadcast or cable. In the study, 51 percent consider their subscription to Netflix “very valuable” compared to 42 percent for broadcast channels and 36 percent for cable subscriptions.
And finally: the attached video gives just a “hint” of the exhibits I saw at CES this year. The video section of the CES web site, is another great source for International CES 2015 content.