CES Dazzles Again as Las Vegas Convention Center Expansion Continues

Hil Anderson, Senior Editor
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LAS VEGAS — The annual CES wrapped up in Las Vegas Jan. 10 with another year of banner headlines and immense crowds that took over The Strip.

The preliminary metrics pegged the show at roughly the same size as the 2019 show despite an estimated decline of 5.0-6.0% in the exhibit space sold to Chinese companies amid ongoing trade talks, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) told Trade Show Executive (TSE). The 2020 show featured 170,000 attendees and more than 4,400 exhibiting companies. Total exhibit space was not immediately provided, but last year’s show included more than 2.9 million net square feet (nsf). Assuming that exhibit space again tested 3 million nsf, CES could top CONEXPO-CON/AGG, the massive triennial construction-equipment show that takes place in March and is projecting 2.5 million nsf.

“The innovation on display this week at CES embodied the drive and passion that fuels our industry and furthers economic growth on a global scale,” said Gary Shapiro, CTA President and CEO. “The entire tech ecosystem was at CES 2020.”

CES was again a truly citywide event with 11 separate venues utilized for exhibits and a myriad of presentations and keynotes. More than 1,100 speakers took the podium for discussions on a range of topics as wide and varied as the products on exhibit.

Highlights included the unveiling of AV 4.0, a newly created set of standards for autonomous vehicles that will someday drive themselves, by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and the announcement of new best practices for wearable healthcare devices.

The popular pre-show event Unveiled Las Vegas was one of the largest in the history of CES. It featured more than 220 exhibitors, including 98 start-up firms, offering an advanced look at their new products to some 1,900 members of the technology media.

Next year will mark a new milestone when the current expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center is scheduled to be completed just in time for CES 2021. The project, which will add 1.4 million square feet of exhibit space to the already expansive building, reached the halfway point in October 2019.

Reach Gary Shapiro at (703) 907-7600 or gshapiro@cta.tech; Karen Chupka, Executive Vice President, CES, at (703) 907-7600 or chupkak@cta.tech.