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Size, impact of CES not affected by fewer venues

ces1-thumbThe end of 2009 can only mean one thing – a frantic rush to prepare Las Vegas convention halls for the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Jan. 7-10. But this year, the world’s biggest electronics show is undergoing a bit of a change.

As the largest tradeshow for consumer technology in the world, CES is highly anticipated each year and brings tens of thousands of business professionals together to talk business and launch thousands of new products. In 2009, CES had more than 113,000 visitors, down from 141,150 in 2008. Approximately 2,500 exhibitors are expected at this year’s event.


This is where the economy may actually help CES maintain its numbers from the previous year ­– Las Vegas hotel rates have dropped more than 26 percent since 2008, according to the final Orbitz Insider Index of 2009 released Dec. 15.

“Pre-registration for the 2010 CES is on pace with last year,” said Sarah Szabo Myers, senior manager of communications for the Consumer Electronics Association, which puts together the annual CES. “Hotel rates have come down significantly and travel to Las Vegas is a cost savings for CES attendees.”

CES 2010, however, will differ from its predecessors in a noticeable way – it’s dropped one of its venues. But don’t blame the economy for this one. There is more than meets the eye.

The show has been such a success that since its 1967 debut it has grown large enough to need multiple convention facilities just to house it. Since 2006, the show had been held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton, The Venetian and the Sands Expo. But this year the Sands Expo will no longer be on that list. The decision to consolidate was made for several reasons, Myers said.

“The decision not to utilize the Sands Expo and Convention Center for the 2010 CES was based on feedback received from CES exhibitors and attendees as well as the availability of the Las Vegas Convention Center,” Myers said.
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Additional space and an opportunity to make this feasible came when the Las Vegas Convention Center announced it would be canceling its construction plans. This made available a significant amount of outdoor, lobby and meeting room space for 2010. Because of this, they were able to use this additional inventory for registration areas, exhibits and meeting space for the 2010 show, and the new inventory allowed them to centralize the CES show floor.

“Following the 2009 CES, our customers asked that we focus on allowing attendees to get business done by maximizing show logistics to encourage more booth visits and meetings,” Myers added. “Additionally, the 2010 CES will have more meeting rooms at The Venetian than in years past, which meets the needs of the companies who want a private environment for conducting business.”

The centralization of the show also makes it easier for attendees to navigate the show. Fewer properties mean more convenience, Myers said.

“The average CES attendee holds 12 meetings while at the show,” she added. “With the show centralized, attendees will have the opportunity to hold more meetings and experience more of the show floor.”

Ultimately this will mean more floor time for attendees and more face time for exhibitors, such as Eddie Chen, CEO of Venture Heat /MEC Addheat Co., a manufacturer of low-voltage heated personal care products and a four-year veteran of the show.

“It’s probably better to have buyers in one location instead of shuttling back and forth,” Chen said. “The added exposure will help to drive more potential customers to their (the exhibitors’) booths, which is the real point of CES – making business happen.”

Those interested in additional information on CES, as well as updates and news on the show as it happens can visit the Web site at www.cesweb.org.

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