The United States’ largest tradeshow, International CES, took place last week, weighing in at 1.92 million square feet with more than 150,000 qualified trade attendees. The booths were impressive, products salivation-worthy and aisles, even on the last day, busy.
With the thousands of press and media there, coverage has been everywhere. One couldn't turn on a TV, surf the internet or even listen to radio—anywhere in the world (mostly)—without hearing about the newest, latest and greatest in consumer electronics for the home, office and even business process management. Every time I turn around, I’m still getting hit with post-show articles.
So why all the pre-show press bashing? An article I read on yahoo.com entitled, “Giant Tech Show Losing Steam,” proclaimed that CES had lost its shine and is no longer relevant. Then they went on to point out all the commerce happening at the show, even if the Googles, Apples and Microsofts weren’t there.
I particularly love this sentence buried at the bottom of the article: “But even if the Samsungs, Sonys, Toshibas and Panasonics of the world don't release any jaw-dropping products, the show has become a ground for future technologies and innovation.”
Hmmm…now let’s see. What’s the No. 1 reason people attend tradeshows? Answer: To see new things. Why is CES growing? New products. Sharing innovation. There were tons of cool new stuff to see—and not just new TV’s either!
I know someone’s always going to try and take down the “big guy.” There will always be disgruntled exhibitors and visitors at even the most successful of shows.
I know some press and bloggers live to trash tradeshows and conferences and brag about how they are not attending. They’re probably the same people who, if VIP’d to one of these events, would be in wholeheartedly. Or not.
Not having been to CES in a number of years, I, along with many, many others who were the crowds at the show, say the CES train shows no sign of slowing. Congrats on a great show!
Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information and a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S. show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and clone shows overseas. You can follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.