CES Facts and Figures
Big, bigger, biggest — until, that is, it becomes even bigger.
Those may be the most apt descriptors for the CES convention, the world’s (yes) biggest consumer technology showcase. (Think of it as The Convention That Ate Las Vegas.) Four decades of partnership between the tradeshow and the city have made it one of our longest-lasting relationships, its run far exceeding any hit shows on the Strip.
Following is a primer on the history and highlights of CES (which is not open to the public). Produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), this year’s confab — now in its 53rd year — opens Jan. 7 and continues through Jan. 10.
As estimated by CTA, CES 2020 is expected to bring:
• Approximately 175,000 visitors to town
• $169.8 million in direct visitor spending
• $283.3 million total economic impact
• More than 4,500 exhibitors
• More than 2.9 million square feet of exhibit space
This year’s marquee keynote speaker: Presidential advisor Ivanka Trump (Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. at the Venetian). Titled “The Path to the Future of Work,” this will be a “fireside chat” with Trump and Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA.
CES locations: Las Vegas Convention Center, Venetian, Aria, Encore, Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, Sands, Westgate
Random highlight: This year’s CES attendees will be able to snack on pizzas made by an “automated pizza assembly robot” by Picnic, a Seattle-based food production technology company. The robotic chef is capable of producing 300 12-inch customized pizzas per hour. Mangia!
In the (electronic) beginning: CES was first held in New York City in June 1967, at the Hilton and Americana hotels as a spinoff of the Chicago Music Show, which until then had been the main event for exhibitors of consumer electronics. More than 17,000 attendees showed up, as well as 200 exhibitors. Everyone marveled over the newest in transistor radios and TV sets with integrated circuits. In 1972, CES followed the motto, “Go Midwest, Young Man,” and relocated to Chicago.
Las Vegas enters the technological picture: From 1978 to 1994, CES expanded to two shows annually. January shows were hosted by Las Vegas, helping formerly frozen attendees escape brutal winters in Chicago, which now welcomed conventioneers only in June, relinquishing its winter hosting duties.
Becoming the only game in town: When summer shows in Chicago began waning in popularity, organizers tried moving them around to other cities, including Philadelphia, Orlando and Atlanta, but they were variously cancelled or poorly attended. In 1998, Las Vegas ascended to the CES throne as the show reverted to a once-a-year format, exclusively in our welcoming city.
Hitting the techie high points: Among the seemingly endless innovations and product launches — actually, 700,000-plus — unveiled at CES over a half-century are:
• 1970 VCR
• 1974 Laserdisc player
• 1981 Camcorder and CD player
• 1991 Interactive CD
• 1996 DVD player
• 1998 High-Definition television
• 2000 Satellite radio
• 2001 Microsoft Xbox and Plasma TV
• 2003 Blu-Ray DVD
• 2009 3D HDTV
• 2010 Tablets, Netbooks and Android devices
• 2011 Smart appliances and Ford’s Electric Focus model
• 2013 Ultra-HDTV and driverless auto technology
• 2014 3D printers, sensor and wearable technology
• 2015 Virtual reality
• 2019 Car with legs; robot art; personal robots
Marquee bigwigs: Speakers over the years have included:
• Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates
• Robert Iger of the Walt Disney Company
• Consumer Technology Association President/CEO, Gary Shapiro
• Motorola Chairman Ed Zander
• Dell Inc. founder, Michael Dell
Author, author: Beyond guiding CTA and CES, Shapiro has penned three books that have contributed significantly to the canon of technology literature: The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream (Beaufort, 2011); Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses (Harper Collins, 2013); and Ninja Future: Secrets to Success in the New World of Innovation (William Morrow, 2018).
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada: Since first gracing us in 1978 and through the conclusion of this year’s event, it’s estimated that CES will have drawn nearly 5 million visitors to town with a corresponding ca-ching factor, ringing up $6 billion in added revenue for our pockets.
A show of gratitude through the years: Beyond paying tourism/business dividends, CES has also demonstrated its commitment to the Las Vegas community through numerous CTA charitable gestures. Among them:
• Since 2009, CTA has donated more than $700,000 to local sustainability and educational initiatives, including working with the Clark County School District and Touro University Nevada
• CTA has made security-related donations to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA, which produces Las Vegas Newswire) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, both for emergency response training and equipment; and to the police department’s foundation to fund its Multi-Assault Counter-Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC).
• CES exhibitors have donated tons of materials to Goodwill of Southern Nevada, Habitat for Humanity, Opportunity Village, Teachers Exchange and HELP of Southern Nevada; materials have also been recycled at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Expo and the Venetian.
To offer feedback on this story or suggestions for future stories on Las Vegas Newswire, contact Managing Editor Steve Bornfeld at SBornfeld@lvcva.com.