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CEA Gives CES Details, Nixes Gaming Show

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), producer of International CES, provided details on changes in the 2007 show and stated that it will not operate a gaming show next year.

Nokia’s Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, president/CEO, will deliver an Insider Address on Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater. John Chambers, president/CEO of Cisco Systems, is the other previously announced Industry Insider speaker and is set to talk the next day at the same time and location.

Karen Chupka, CEA’s senior VP of events and conferences, reported that the 2007 event has 1.745 million square feet of exhibit space “and we’re still selling.” Last year CES had 1.689 million square feet of exhibit space.

Chupka said that the 2006 show’s final audited attendance was 152,000, but fewer attendees are expected this year, due to a concerted effort to keep local consumers off the show floor. CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro said since the show is being held Monday through Thursday, Jan. 8 to 11, “There should be fewer weekend [consumer] visitors and more business people.” And he added that attendance might also be down because some of the older Las Vegas hotels are being knocked down and replaced.

Even though there is now 1.745 million square feet of exhibitor space, the venues of CES in Las Vegas have been consolidated. The Las Vegas Convention Center and Las Vegas Hilton are being augmented with halls B, C and D of the Sands Expo and Convention Center and portions of the adjoining Venetian Hotel, the latter being the new home for all CES keynotes.

As a reminder the CES keynoter lineup includes Shapiro, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, Robert Iger, president/CEO of The Walt Disney Co. and Ed Zander, chairman/CEO of Motorola.

The Sands/Venetian will now house more than 200 high performance and home theater exhibitors this year and more than 12 emerging technology-related TechZones, the International CES Innovations Honorees displays, a dozen conference sessions, select CES Partner Programs and live broadcasts from Dave Graveline’s “Into Tomorrow” program.

As for the show CEA decided not to do, Chupka and Shapiro announced that the organization decided not to launch a 2007 gaming event based on industry feedback and a recent Entertainment Software Association announcement about its plans.

While CEA looked at spring and June and July dates for a possible trade and consumer show at the request of its board to replace the E3 show, Chupka said, “The recent announcement by ESA that it would open its event to both ESA and non-ESA members and would include PC and wireless gaming, led us to conclude that a new show would not likely serve the best needs of the industry.”