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Record CES Crowd Leads To Attendance Cap

Arlington, Va. — Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), announced in a series of tweets this morning that verified attendance for the 2015 International CES reached a record 176,676 industry professionals, with 48,833 coming from outside of the U.S., and going forward show attendance will be capped.

Other records were also set:

• Exhibitors topped 3,600 for the first time, filling more than 2.23 million net square feet of exhibit space. 

• A record 6,952 media members and industry analysts attended, generating 703,602 mentions of #CES2015 during the show, with 7.51 billion total potential Twitter impressions.  

• There were 153 countries represented at the show.

While a robust attendance is a sign of success, CEA, concerned with capacity issues, will enact enhanced credentialing procedures and tighter qualification criteria for the 2016 International CES to cap attendance at 176,000, or close to a level comparable to the 2015 CES.

“We are thrilled to have produced such a phenomenal, record-setting International CES,” said Shapiro in a statement. “Our event offers a one of a kind, ‘can’t miss’ experience that allows our global attendees to see how different technologies from a range of industries impact each other. The International CES remains the single best place to experience the products, services and trends that will be driving the global industry in the months and years to come.”           

“With the growth of the consumer technology industry and the parallel growth of the International CES comes an increase in the qualified registrant base for our show. While these individuals are qualified industry professionals, we are reaching space capacity and simply can’t accommodate every qualified individual to our show,” said Karen Chupka, CEA senior VP, International CES and corporate business strategy. “We take seriously our efforts to make sure CES attendees have a positive experience. Enhanced credentialing procedures will enable us to ensure that qualified attendees can participate in our show and conduct business while providing a high-quality experience for all. These efforts also will allow us to improve some of the logistical and operational challenges that come with producing and attending such a large event.”

New registrants or previous registrants who did not attend the 2014 or 2015 CES will be subject to new enhanced credentialing and tighter qualification criteria. This means that although individuals may have qualified for registration in previous years, they must resubmit credentials to qualify for the 2016 CES.

To qualify, all registrants must provide a brief description of their industry affiliation along with links to their company website with an employee roster, a description of the business engagement at CES or a link to a current publication or article the registrant authored or in which they were quoted or cited as an industry professional. Alternately, registrants may also provide a business card, health insurance card or other proof of employment verification. In addition, in order to expedite affiliated registrants through the verification process, CES will ask registrants to include a business email address.

Additional details can be found here, once registration opens later this year.

Those who attended one of the past two shows will be allowed to register without providing additional industry qualifications.

A new registration fee structure will also be implemented:

CEA is implementing a $100 advanced fee for all registrants beginning July 8 when registration launches, while providing those who attended the 2014 or 2015 CES with a 30-day window of complimentary registration before the $100 fee goes into effect.

Registration for qualified media will remain free of charge.

Registration fees will increase to $300 beginning Dec. 21 through the 2016 CES. This move is to encourage more registrants to sign up prior to December 21 to allow CEA ample time to verify credentials for those who register after that date.

“Our new procedures will help us cap the overall growth in CES attendance, promoting a quality business experience for our guests while focusing show and consumer technology industry growth in key areas, including new markets and trends,” said Chupka.

“The average CES attendee has 33 business meetings at our event, so it’s crucial that we make the networking and deal-making opportunities as easy as possible for our guests,” added Shapiro. “We must always innovate to ensure that CES remains the must-attend event for any professional connected to innovation. These new procedures will help us meet this goal.”

Added Chupka: “We believe [176,000] strikes the balance we seek between producing a show that truly reflects the size and scope of the global consumer technology industry while helping our participants have a positive, quality business experience,” said Chupka. “We won’t, however, turn qualified attendees away at the door! We will refine our new processes as necessary during registration in an effort to stay within our target attendance.”

The full CES attendance audit summary report, conducted by Veris Consulting, will be available online at the end of June.

More details on 2016 CES policies and procedures can be found at