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CES '09 Drew 113K Attendees, Says Audit

5/28/2009 01:54:00 PM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), producer of International CES, reported that the audited attendance for the 2009 event drew 113,085.

The audit was performed by Veris Consulting and verified CES’ status as the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow and North America’s largest tradeshow of any kind, CES said.

But the four-day show, which was held in Las Vegas Jan. 8-11, had a lower attendance than the past two years, most likely due to the recession. Last year’s show had an audited attendance of 141,150, while the 2007 event drew 143,695. The audit of this year’s event confirms and exceeds the onsite released estimate of 110,000, CEA said.

Veris is certified by the Exhibition and Event Industry Audit Commission to perform audits. The Veris audit differentiates the International CES from other industry tradeshows in that each CES attendee is only counted once, and only sold exhibit space is used to calculate show size, versus other events that include complimentary and bartered space and show usage space such as registration areas.

“This audit report confirms that the 2009 International CES succeeded, despite an economic downturn, in attracting top executives, retail buyers, content providers, entertainment executives, venture capitalists, engineers, government officials and media from around the globe,” said Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of CEA.

CEA said 2,700 companies, including 300 new exhibitors, unveiled an estimated 20,000 new technology products across 1.7 million net square feet of exhibit space on the CES show floor. About 140 countries were represented by 22,000 international attendees. The largest contingents of attendees from outside the United States came from the following countries: Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, United Kingdom, China, France, Taiwan, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, Israel and Sweden.

A leading number of senior-level executives and final decision makers conduct business at CES. According to the Veris audit, 46 percent of all attendees were senior level executives, director level and above, on par with last year, and more than 20 percent of attendees were presidents, CEOs or business owners. More than one third of attendees are final decision makers when it comes to new product purchases and partnerships.

The audit also confirms that CES attracts business leaders from diverse areas including entertainment, retail, education, engineering and venture capital industries. This year, more than 12,000 buyers, 6,000 manufacturers and 2,800 engineers came to CES. along with more than 6,000 attendees from the software development/publishing, content development and entertainment industries.

CES also brings together a large concentration of top government officials. Policymakers from the U.S. Congress, Department of Commerce, Department of State, Federal Communications Commission, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. International Trade Commission were all on hand.

Each year, influential media and analysts attend the show to report on the latest products and trends in the consumer technology realm. The 2009 CES drew more than 4,500 media and 1,500 financial and market analysts.

The 2010 International CES is scheduled for Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas.

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