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Thomson Leaving CES Convention Site

Indianapolis -- Citing an overly high cost-to-benefit ratio, Thomson Consumer Electronics confirmed it will not exhibit in the Consumer Electronics Show this January.

Instead, the company will maintain a presence around the show by exhibiting offsite at the Mandalay Bay Casino, a spokesman said, but even space at that facility has been reduced from last year.

"We haven't been on the main floor of CES for a couple of years now," the spokesman said. "We had been exhibiting in a room on the second level of the Las Vegas Convention Center, but even that had become too expensive for our purposes."

CES, he added, has undergone "big changes" in the major Thomson customers it attracts. He said the bulk of the company's business is done through major national retailers, all of whom visit Thomson headquarters a couple of times a year to make purchases and conduct business.

Thomson has little need any longer to do any buying or selling at CES, the spokesman said, adding that other shows, such as CEDIA and the Western Cable Show, have become strategically more important venues for reaching different classes of dealers now entering Thomson's scope.

"We are evaluating every show we are doing [this year] not just CES," the spokesman said. "We are seeing a strategic shift in the type of customer going to the custom installers show [CEDIA], for example."

Thomson had its largest exhibit space to date at the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis last month.

The Western Cable Show has also become more important as Thomson has become the nation's leading supplier of digital cable modems.