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CEA Outlines CES 2002 Plans

11/05/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The Consumer Electronics Association, organizer of the 2002 International CES, reported that the show will have about the same number of exhibitors as this year (2,000), 1.2 million feet in exhibit space and that online pre-registration is in line to reach 110,000.

All of that is somewhat surprising, since we now live in unusual times. And CEA said there will be post-September 11th effects on the annual event that will be evident to showgoers, from increased and higher profile security in Las Vegas to, surprisingly, more CES attendees, due to the cancellation of travel and other shows during the fall.

Those were just some of the observations of CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro and CEA VP of events and conferences Karen Chupka made at the annual CES press event, which was held at the Rainbow Room, here, last Tuesday.

In his remarks about CES Shapiro, who by his own admission is "usually optimistic," said that CES in 2002 is "more important than ever" in providing a place where industry leaders can "meet face to face, talk about the recently completed holiday season and talk about industry issues."

He noted that since the terrorist attacks in September disrupted the usual amount of industry travel, "CES is positioned to make up for the absence of those meetings." He pointed out, "Asian manufacturers have worked under travel restrictions, and the usual Asian buying trips" by top U.S. retailers were cancelled.

Security will be a prime concern of the show, and Shapiro said a variety of new measures would be put in place. "Private security at CES venues will now be back in uniform, to give a more visible presence at the show. The Las Vegas Police Department will also have a higher presence at the show." CEA will be working with local police and the FBI, which is involved with security at other trade shows nationwide, to develop a complete security program for CES.

Shapiro outlined some obvious steps, such as business and personal ID will be needed to obtain a show badge, show badges must be worn at all times during the show and bags must be searched prior to being allowed on the show floor. "We will be watching other shows, such as Comdex (see story, p. 34) , to see what plans they put in place. There will be other security measures, that for obvious reasons, can't be discussed." As a good rule of thumb, Shapiro advised attendees, "Take less stuff with you on the show floor than you would normally."

Chupka outlined the changes at the show, not the least of which is that CES will be the first show to be held at the completed Las Vegas Convention Center. Construction is set to be completed by the middle of the month and the 2002 show will be the first in several years where some exhibitors will no longer have to exhibit in temporary structures.

One of the key highlights of the show that was unveiled at the press briefing is a "Retail Power Panel," to be held on Wednesday, January 9, which is scheduled to feature the following top retail executives: Best Buy's Brad Anderson, Circuit City's Alan McCollough, RadioShack's Len Roberts, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Greg Drew of 800.COM and Meg Whitman of eBay.

The show will also have the 2002 Knowledge Circuit conference that feature the following: Andrew Seybold's Wireless University 4Mobility, business solutions, car technologies, CEDIA Training Program, CONNECTIONS, Digital Hollywood, Emerging Technologies, Gartner Dataquest seminars, home entertainment, home networking, IEEE consumer electronics tutorials, mobile surround summit, wireless retail training, wireless technologies and workstyle.

And as reported previously, keynote speakers for CES include the following executives: Microsoft's Bill Gates, Dr. Daeje Chin of Samsung, Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard, Philips' Gerard Kleisterlee, AOL Time Warner's Bob Pittman and Bill Esrey of Sprint.

For more details on these and other CES events visit at www.CESweb.org.

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