International CES drew more than 110,000 attendees, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the show's producer.
The show was open from Thursday, Jan. 8 to Sunday, Jan. 11, with the set-up process and other CES-related activities having many attendees being here for the entire week.
CEA conducts an independent audit of CES attendance in order to ensure the accuracy of data regarding the show. CEA said the final verified attendance number will be released in about 90 days. At the close of the 2008 CES, CEA estimated 130,000 attendees, and the verified audited attendance of 141,150 was released in the spring of last year.
Aside from discussions about a possible DTV transition delay (see p. 1); keynotes from Sony's Sir Howard Stringer (p. 1), Nokia's Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Ford's Alan Mulally (see p. 8) among others; and new developments in HDTV, in-vehicle technology and other categories, one of the hottest topics at the show was, "What do you think attendance will be?" Store clerks, taxi drivers, airport security agents, head waiters in Vegas — among others — were elevated to tradeshow crowd experts.
In a prepared statement, Gary Shapiro, CEA's president/CEO, said the organization's Board of Industry Leaders volunteered its opinion on the quality of the attendees. "It is essential to have the right people attend CES. Board members reported getting more business done this year than at any prior show. One board member reported his company scheduled 450 customer meetings prior to CES and every one of those 450 meetings took place at the show. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to exhibitors and attendees conducting business at CES," said Shapiro.
CEA reiterated that the show drew more than 2,700 global companies, including 300 new exhibitors, and unveiled an estimated 20,000 new technology products across 1.7 million net square feet of exhibit space during the 2009 show.
For more CES news, blogs, video and podcasts visit www.TWICE.com/ces2009 and watch for the Jan. 26 print edition of TWICE.