Arlington, VA – International CES is a behemoth of a show that just keeps growing – and that presents some unique challenges for organizers. Between 2013 and 2014, attendance grew 5% to 160,498 and exhibitor numbers were up 12% to 3,673, so the sheer size and scope of CES means organizers must be especially attentive to the needs of niche groups among those attendees.
Following on the launch of the Brand Matters and Entertainment Matters initiatives that offer curated show experiences for professionals from those industries, CES in 2015 will launch a new venture dubbed C Space that’s targeted to the advertising, creative and digital community. C Space will offer a headquarters designed particularly for this sector. Karen Chupka, senior vice president of International CES and corporate business strategy for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), called it an extension of the Brand Matters and Entertainment Matters initiatives.
“We realized there were a lot of meetings in Las Vegas for the creative community to meet with their potential customers, but not in a centralized location,” Chupka said. She said many such clients do one-on-one demonstrations of new products that don’t necessarily require exhibit space in the convention hall. So creating a centralized environment for them outside the exhibit hall offers the flexibility they need to promote their own brands. “(CES) isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all model,” Chupka said.
CEA partnered with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to create the networking hub at the ARIA hotel during the 2015 CES. This hub will demonstrate how content, creativity, technology, marketing and the consumer all come together at CES. It will include a VIP lounge, a conference schedule tailored to the C Space audience and opportunities to meet executives from companies within the digital content and advertising communities.
“These professionals know they need to be at CES,” Chupka said, “but they needed some direction on how to get the most value from the show in addition to networking.” CEA and ANA worked together on conference content. In addition, the ANA will market the show to its members, while CES will offer benefits to those members through briefings on trends in the industry that can help creative professionals understand possible new directions for their own work. ANA also will promote C Space to its 30,000 members and invite them to attend.
Chupka said she is hopeful that as these professionals take part in C Space, they will see other opportunities for them on the main show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center. To help them make the most of their time at the show, CES will offer show floor tours to the C Space participants.
“Those in different industries sometimes need that guidance,” Chupka said. She said that’s particularly important for attendees in industries that are on the edge of the consumer electronics community. Tours of the show floor help them pinpoint trends that are driving advertising and the ways consumers will access technology in the future – things that can help them direct their creative efforts.
Chupka said CES already had started reaching out to this audience and “has a pretty good sense of what they need,” so C Space will become a more centralized opportunity for them to extend the usefulness of the show.
C Space also is expected to help existing exhibitors. Chupka’s staff will reach out to exhibitors through newsletter updates and direct contact to let them know about C Space and how they can benefit from it.
In the end, Chupka said C Space is a way of offering a solution to a community that didn’t have the right opportunity at CES. She said this community wants to have face-to-face interaction at the show and learn. C Space aims to fulfill those needs.
Reach Karen Chupka at (703) 907-7639 or firstname.lastname@example.org