CES Honcho Is Upbeat, But So Is Macworld Chief

Gary Shapiro is quick to admit that last year’s Consumer Electronics Show–held during the darkest days of the recession–was pretty depressing. But his enthusiasm has recovered.

“I’m more excited about this CES than any in the 28 years I’ve been attending the show,” says Shapiro, president and chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association, which organizes the event.

One reason is the contrasting activity in the months leading up to this year’s show, which is scheduled for January 7-10 in Las Vegas. Last fall, as the magnitude of the meltdown became apparent, many companies cut back on the number of employees they send to the show or pulled out entirely.

This fall, Shapiro says, the pattern reversed, as exhibitors and attendees have signed up at an accelerating rate. “We blew through all our goals for the last five months,” he says.

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