Las Vegas, NV – Fresh faces and fresh ideas were the hallmark of the 2014 CES, which show organizers said this week topped 2 million net square feet (nsf) of exhibit space, thanks in large part to a solid showing by new exhibiting companies.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) will have its audited attendance figures finalized this Spring, but the continuing development of new products in the show’s broad horizontal space, coupled with the strength of the consumer technology market, plus the large annual media contingent, once again made the CES a can’t-miss event for both start-ups and established companies.
“This year’s show was an energizing display of where the future is headed,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “One-third of the world’s population interacted with CES in some way this week. From curved Ultra HD TVs and next generation smart phones to drones, robots, sensors, connected cars and 3D printers, it seems like the only thing missing from the 2014 CES was a time-travel machine,” he said.
Major tech breakthroughs and product launches were on display on the show floor and caught the attention of a worldwide audience due to massive coverage in print, broadcast, digital and social media. The show featured 15 product categories and 25 market-specific TechZones, including Engadget’s Best of CES finalists.
Shapiro and his team said that more than 3,200 exhibitors packed the Las Vegas Convention Center and other nearby venues. The record-sized exhibit floor featured products in 15 different categories of technology for the gadget-hungry public and drew more than 150,000 attendees including 35,000 from outside the United States.
An audit by Veris consulting is underway and will be released this Spring but this year’s show surely shattered some records. In 2013, CES covered 1,924,892 nsf and hosted 3,316 exhibitors. Attendance, however, had dipped (2.7)% to 152,000 from the 2012 event, according to the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Dashboard of Monthly Trade Show Metrics. In 2012, CES spanned 1,862,097 nsf and drew 3,239 exhibitors plus 156,153 attendees [audited figures]. The 2012 performance placed the show atop the TSE Gold 100 rankings of largest U.S. trade shows of the year. The Gold 100 rankings for 2013 shows will be announced this Spring.
CES is also the recipient of numerous Grand Awards from Trade Show Executive in the last six years including:
- Highest Global Participation
- At the Forefront of Technology
- Leader in Green Initiatives
- Highest Economic Impact
- Highest Growth in Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space [in sheer numbers]
- “The Greatest Show on Earth”
Technology reviewers this year gave high marks to 3-D printers, ultra high-definition televisions and TVs with screens that bend for that “surround” viewing experience. There was also a strong showing by the auto industry, which had busy exhibits highlighted by Internet integration and the latest prototypes of automated vehicles with the capability to drive on automatic pilot.
The reviews also noted that many of the larger and more-venerable technology companies were no longer in a race to see who could put up the biggest booth. At the same time, smaller firms were making the investment in space at CES as a way to build momentum in a highly competitive but innovation-driven industry.
Reach Gary Shapiro at (703) 907-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org