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40th CES Shows Industry’s Growth

2007 marks the 40th Anniversary of the International CES. For 40 years, CES attendees have witnessed the biggest ideas, the latest innovations and the most cutting-edge technology in consumer electronics — all from the CES show floor.

Back in 1967, transistor radios and colored TVs were hot-ticket items, and audio cassettes were just coming on the market. Over-the-air broadcasts allowed television viewers to watch their favorite programs, but if you missed an episode of “Dragnet,” it was tough luck. The idea of recording content wasn’t a viable option.

Just look at how far we’ve come. For 40 years, consumers have watched in awe as groundbreaking innovations make life more convenient and information more accessible. The VCR, CD player, DVD player, satellite radio, HDTV — all changed the way we process information. And all were debuted at an International CES.

When the first CES opened its doors in 1967, our industry predecessors saw the latest phonographs, radios and televisions. Forty years later, as the International CES celebrates its 40th year and remains the largest trade show for consumer technology, we now witness the hottest products across 30 different categories including wireless, IPTV and digital imaging — categories that were mere pipe dreams 40 years ago.

What started in 1967, with 110 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees in the Americana and Hilton hotels in New York, has grown to the largest trade show in North America and the largest consumer technology show in the world. This year, CES opens its exhibit halls to 2,700 exhibitors, attracting more than 140,000 attendees from across the globe. The International CES has truly become the world event for consumer technology.

And of course, the success of the International CES directly reflects the growth and power of the entire CE industry. The wonder and amazement of CES comes from the incredible products that launch from the show floor. The big ideas that debut at CES are what fuel our industry, and, after all, industry growth is what furthers innovation.

The CE industry powers the global economy, and the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) mission is to continue our industry’s growth. CEA works 365 days a year to further our industry through technology policy, research and events, including CES.

Along with our mission to grow the CE industry is our commitment to produce an extraordinary show. And the 2007 CES promises to be phenomenal, with 2,700 exhibitors covering more than 1.7 million net square feet of exhibit space, including more than 20 market-specific TechZones and our newest venue at the Sands Expo and Convention Center/the Venetian. Industry executives will participate in the largest showcase of consumer technology products in CES history.

For the past four decades, CES has been privileged to host the most innovative and creative consumer technology companies across the world, both large and small, and we continue to work year-round to create the major global event where innovators can display their latest and best technologies.

This year, the International CES celebrates more than just our anniversary — we celebrate four decades of products that have bettered the lives of consumers around the world. We celebrate innovations that have made communication more convenient and information more accessible. And we celebrate the exhibitors and industry professionals who continue to expand and grow the consumer electronics industry.

Thank you to all who have made the past 40 years of CES a success, and for your commitment to grow the consumer electronics industry and to improve lives. Here’s to 40 more years of industry success together!