Re: CES Trade Show Disappoints On All Fronts
Full disclosure: I am a retail member of CEA and active in volunteer leadership.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and the value of CES is all about the benefits one hopes to garner from it. As a buyer for a smaller single market a/v specialty chain, I find CES to be an incredibly valuable experience, and a financially efficient one as well.
I have the ability to interact with huge electronics companies at the highest management levels, do strategic planning with business partners, network with peers, learn about cool new products, learn what my business partners are planning for the coming year, begin dialogues with prospective new partners, plus more. I met with more than 30 companies in the space of 4 days. My room at the Paris was $200 a night and my flight was about $400. Meals were basically free, thanks to dinners and parties that are available to industry folks. Plus, I won $400 at craps. Not a bad deal, considering the amount of travel time I would have needed to accomplish the same things without CES.
I think there were fewer new products in our space this year, but I think that says more about our industry than it does about CES. 2008 will be a year of retrenchment, and CES reflects the state of the industry, as it usually does.
CEDIA is a great show, thanks to the learning opportunities that are available via the courses offered. But it is sorely lacking as a trade show, other than products highly specific to the custom installation and home theater space. I think any CE retail executive needs to be in touch with all aspects of the CE industry, and that simply isn't at CEDIA. And real business meetings are much fewer and far between than at CES.
I share the frustration with off-site exhibitors. I don't have time for them and generally reject meetings with them to maximize the efficiency of my trip. I think they are generally scavengers who want to benefit from the CES crowds without paying for a CES exhibit, and I find this mildly offensive.
Hobbyists and trade-show groupies will find CES increasingly less welcoming, so perhaps the crowding and logisitics issues will fix themselves. It is a business show and functions best that way. I think it has found new success as a magnet for all sorts of media coverage, and as the "big dog" of US trade shows, encourages detractors. We all love an underdog and CES certainly isn't that.
Last edited by garyyac; 01-18-2008 at 12:12 PM..