As International CES came to a close at the end of last week, we asked Dan Cole a few questions about what he saw at this year’s show. Cole is vice president of sales and business development for the Consumer Electronics Association and a regular contributor to EXPO Magazine.
EXPO: We already know you sold a record amount of exhibit space at this year’s show. What other signs do you have that this year’s International CES was a success?
Dan Cole: Our attendance was strong once again. We don’t publish any official numbers until our audit is complete, but the aisles were packed, all the press rooms were buzzing with activity and most, if not all, hotel rooms in Las Vegas were booked solid.
On-site space selection went extremely well once again, and there were scores of celebrities at the show, including performances by Adam Levine and two other members of Maroon 5 and a special
appearance by former President Bill Clinton.
Our area devoted to start-ups called Eureka Park increased in size by more than 50 percent, ballooning to over 150 start-up companies. The number of innovations launched, from big name companies to startups, received widespread media coverage.
EXPO: What was the most exciting new thing you saw on the showfloor?
Cole: It’s really hard to rave about only one new thing. There are so many. My top four would be:
• Ultra HD TV. If you thought HD television was awesome, wait until you get a chance to see ultra HD. Four times the resolution of HDTV, it’s mind blowing. Look for these televisions to start hitting the market soon. They’ll continue to take center stage at CES for years to come.
• A multitude of digital health and fitness products. There are tons of press stories on these lifestyle-altering products, and they are so cool. Our health and fitness category grew by some 40 percent this year.
• CES has no doubt become the most effective destination for technology start-up companies. Our partnership with Start Up America and the National Science Foundation allowed exhibitors in Eureka Park to see thousands of attendees from the financial community seeking to fund new and exciting technologies.
• All things “i.” While Apple has chosen not to participate in any tradeshow, Apple-related products are everywhere at CES. Our iLounge pavilion has grown from 4,000 net square feet just a few short years ago to over 120,000 net sq. ft. At the 2013 CES, we had more than 440 exhibitors across two locations, so this area is really growing.
EXPO: Since it’s the first major show of the year, Intl. CES always acts as a bellwether for the tradeshow industry. With that in mind, what kind of year does it look like 2013 is going to be for the industry?
Cole: If the success of this past show is any indicator, I think the industry is in for a good year. I should mention that our success is never guaranteed though. We are fortunate that the past several years have seen steady growth for the show. I think that portends well for the entire tradeshow industry.
EXPO: What kind of new things can we look forward to at next year’s Intl. CES?
Cole: Products that facilitate the mobile lifestyle will continue to take center focus. And, as I mentioned before, you’ll see new and exciting products from the digital health community. We expect more progress with ultra HD. As our lives continue to become more and more virtual, we expect a vast array of cloud-based products and services. The fun starts now as we begin brainstorming ways to highlight the next generation of innovations at the 2014 CES.