John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

CES Attendance: "The Right People"–Just Fewer of Them

The International Consumer Electronics Show didn’t break any attendance records this year. In fact, it didn’t even break the projected attendance figure of 130,000 that the Consumer Electronics Association offers up every year. Missed it by a pretty wide margin, actually. Amazingly, CES isn’t immune to the worst recession in 50 years.

Preliminary estimates suggest the show drew 110,000 attendees, down 22 percent from 141,150 in 2008.

A nasty little drop, although it doesn’t appear to have fazed the CEA, which is propping this year’s attendance figures with some over-the-top ALL CAPS hyperbole.

2009 INTERNATIONAL CES ELECTRIFIES AND ELICITS OPTIMISM FOR GLOBAL ECONOMY, reads the CEA press release in which the group makes its peace with the massive decline in attendance.

“Our board concluded that it is essential to have the right people attend CES. Board members reported getting more business done this year than at any prior show,” said CEA CEO Gary Shapiro. “One board member reported his company scheduled 450 customer meetings prior to CES and every one of those 450 meetings took place at the show. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to exhibitors and attendees conducting business at CES.”

At least in those years when attendance is down, anyway.

[Image Credit: Flickr International’s CES photostream]

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus