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Old 01-18-2008   #7
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Default 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 11:12 AM..
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Old 01-18-2008   #8
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Default Re: CES Trade Show Disappoints On All Fronts

My Wife and I have the advantage of living here in Vegas. So we were able to drive our own truck each day. But not all was good, we made the mistake of leaving at 6pm from the Venetian on Monday, it took an hour just to get out of the parking structure.

We planned out each day carefully though.

On Monday we hit the Venetian (ballrooms first, then tower). We were disappointed to see that Def Tech had been squeezed into the tower, instead of having a larger area at LVCC last year. At least they had one of the larger tower rooms. Some high-end mfg should have been ****ed at the accomodations. There were several others that had to try to show off their systems in small tower rooms. Last year we were blown away with King's Audio Emperor electrostatic speakers in an appropriatly sized Venetian ballroom, and this year they had to try and get decent sound from their electrostatics stuffed into a tower room (2 rooms actually).

But then again we were glad that MBL got a ballroom for their $180k 101 X-treme System. Last year they were stuffed into a tower room, and the 101E's just didn't impress me in such a small area (maybe it was the 40+ people stuffed into the room also trying to get their eardrum somewhat in a straight line to the speakers to hear them). This year we checked them out early, and went across the hall to look at another mfg, then as we were leaving that room we heard Nine Inch Nails being jammed, so we went out to find where. It was in the MBL room! We ran over to get in as everyone else was also. And I have to tell you, NIN never sounded so good coming out of a $180k set of speakers. That right there made CES worthwhile. At least Monday.

Tuesday our plans were ruined by being called into work. So that means we had to cover 3 days of LVCC in just 2 days.

Wednesday we started in the North Hall, checking out all the cars. We even talked Chip Foose into doing the "shocker" for a pic. We ended the day by trolling the central hall.

Thursday was going to be busy, having to cover all 4 of the South Halls. But somehow we did. Of course Dolby was already out of their demo DVD's, but I got one from THX (last year they were out of them). I have an email out to Dolby to get one.

The one thing I made sure was NOT to grab each and every piece of literature that I saw. Last year I had a stack of stuff 3ft high by the end.

I did notice that not many booths had the card scanner. I had intended to use that as an excuse for not picking up their literature. But I still resisted grabbing as much as last year.


The one thing that ****ed me off was on Wednesday. We took our cards we got in the mail for the free meal to the concierge tent only to find out that they had been out of the vouchers since Monday. WTF? They send out 140,000 redemption cards, but only printed 30,000 vouchers. Bummer. Next year we'll hit their first, get the voucher and then hit the Venetian.


All-in-all, some parts were better than last year, some were worse. But regardless, we'll look forward to next year.
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Old 01-18-2008   #9
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Default Re: CES Trade Show Disappoints On All Fronts

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyyac View Post
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.
Right but you had meetings set up with each person before the show. CES it is virtually impossible to walk up and then get a meeting with someone. At CEDIA you can do this.

Quote:
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.
What products is CEDIA lacking in? Because if I was a startup store I could goto CEDIA and find people in every trade possible for running that store from software that organizes it, to cash registers, to dolly manufacturers, to the product companies themselves. Plus as you mentioned I can get my staff trained in many, many, many different areas while at the event meeting with the Presidents of all those companies I'm trying to do business with.

I understand what CES was, but I know what it no longer is: useful. For the majority of store owners CES is a waste of time now with less and less meetings possible every year.

Quote:
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.
I find it offensive that you label smart business as "scavengers who want to benefit from the CES crowds without paying for a CES exhibit." They put up shop in a space they can do better business with their targeted clients. It's smart business for them.

Quote:
Hobbyists and trade-show groupies will find CES increasingly less welcoming, so perhaps the crowding and logisitics issues will fix themselves.
When? It gets worse every year!

Quote:
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.
As someone who has to do business every year in these types of shows I can say that CES is losing its appeal every year to the majority.

When they split the Audio/HT off for it's own show everyone will benefit. Bravo to Jerry for publicly calling that issue out.
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Old 01-18-2008   #10
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Default Re: CES Trade Show Disappoints On All Fronts

Here's a wild thought. Home theater and two channel audio split from CES and move to the Los Angeles convention center. LA is the hub for all things entertainment it makes PERFECT sense that an industry centered around entertainment would have its biggest show in LA! CEDIA is AWESOME and is the trade show I look forward to most and manage to get the most work done. CES has lost its luster.
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Old 01-18-2008   #11
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Default Re: CES Trade Show Disappoints On All Fronts

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Originally Posted by Robinson_A View Post
Here's a wild thought. Home theater and two channel audio split from CES and move to the Los Angeles convention center. LA is the hub for all things entertainment it makes PERFECT sense that an industry centered around entertainment would have its biggest show in LA! CEDIA is AWESOME and is the trade show I look forward to most and manage to get the most work done. CES has lost its luster.
Being in Vegas makes it a vacation for the LA types.

Having it split and run another week entirely in Vegas would be fine by me.
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Old 01-22-2008   #12
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Default Re: CES Trade Show Disappoints On All Fronts

I would support that.
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