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CES Still Tops: Independent Audit

6/11/2008 01:58:00 PM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — The 2008 International CES drew 141,150 attendees, according to an independent audit, which was lower than 2007’s 143,695 but still made the event the largest consumer technology trade show and America’s largest annual trade show of any kind.

The audited attendance figure was higher than the 130,000 show producer Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) made after CES ended its four-day run in Las Vegas on Jan. 10.

An independent audit, performed by VERIS Consulting, verified all attendance numbers and also confirmed International CES top-ranked status.

CEA said overall CES attendance was down this year from 143,695 in 2007, as the group continued its multiyear campaign “to reduce the number of non-qualified attendees in order to maintain a high-quality trade show and minimize logistical impediments to conducting business.”

“The audit results prove that the 2008 International CES exceeded all expectations of attracting top content providers, entertainment executives, retail buyers, venture capitalists, engineers, government officials and media from all over the world,” said Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of CEA.

The 2008 International CES grew its international attendance of industry professionals to a new high of 28,056, a nearly 4 percent increase over last year, during the industry tradeshow, held January 7-10. The show was record breaking in terms of both international presence and square footage. International attendees, representing more than 140 countries, increased from 27,020 in 2007. A total of 57 formal delegations attended CES in 2008, including 10 first-time delegations from Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Finland, Qatar, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Three thousand exhibitors showcased their latest electronics products on a record breaking 1.85 million net square feet of exhibit space.

“Having the most exhibit space in show history allowed us to feature new technologies and welcome a greater number of attendees from our target categories than in years past; specifically the international markets,” said Karen Chupka, events and conferences senior VP, CEA. “We are thrilled that the audit confirms our growth in attendance from outside the United States.”

The 2008 CES attracted 75 percent of the Fortune 100 corporations, from leading companies in the audio, accessories, broadcasting, cable, content, digital imaging, electronic gaming, emerging technology, home networking, home theater, mobile electronics, video and wireless industries.

CES also brings together a large concentration of top government officials. Policy makers from the U.S. Congress, Department of Commerce, Department of State, Homeland Security, Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission were all on hand, along with international leaders from Rwanda, the European Commission, Japan and the United Nations.

VERIS began independent audits for the International CES in 1997. Often, final audit numbers can differ from estimates given on-site due to additional badge pick-ups and badge reader reports. This audit complies with the industry standards for audits adopted by the International Association of Exhibition Management in August 2004. In addition, CEA is a member of the Exhibition and Events Industry Audit Council, which is responsible for determining standard guidelines for conducting trade show audits.

In related news, the 2007 CES again topped the latest Tradeshow Week 200 list [May 2008] as the largest annual tradeshow in the United States and Canada for the seventh consecutive year. Tradeshow Week is a sister publication of TWICE, published by Reed Business Information. Details can be found at www.tradeshowweek.com. The 2009 International CES will be held Thursday, Jan. 8 through Sunday, Jan. 11, in Las Vegas.