New York - More than 120,000 attendees and 2,500 exhibitors (occupying 1.53 million square feet of exhibit space) are expected at the 2011 International CES, to be held in Las Vegas Jan. 6-9, 2011, but the numbers don't tell the whole story.
During the annual CES Press Preview, held here last night at the Metropolitan Pavilion, Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), indicated as much by saying, "We probably have more news to talk about tonight than any other [CES] Press Preview we ever had."
The number of exhibitors and the amount of exhibit space are bigger than last year, and if you look at the brand new, and varied, CES announcements he made Tuesday night, Shapiro might be right:
- John Chambers of Cisco, Jeffrey Immelt of GE, and Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox, will participate in the first CES Innovation Power Panel.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski will sit down with Shapiro for a one-on-one interview at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 to discuss broadband and other technology issues facing the CE industry.
- Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hasting will give the keynote address at the CES Leaders in Technology Dinner.
- The Ford Focus is the official car of 2011 International CES.
- Monster Cable's Noel Lee announced that Earth, Wind & Fire will celebrate 40 years in show business at the company's annual party with a concert for its top retailers and guests.
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the official candy of the 2011 International CES and will unveil at noon on Jan. 6 at its booth in the Grand Lobby what it calls the "Next Big, Little Thing."
The CES Innovation Power Panel, the FCC's Genachowski and Hasting of Netflix join the previously announced list of CES keynote speakers:
, CEO of Microsoft; Shapiro and
, chairman/CEO of Verizon;
, chairman, Audi AG;
, president/GM of Samsung's visual display business; and
, president/CEO of Ford Motor Company.
There will be 27 TechZones at the 2011 CES. Two worthy of note are the iLounge Pavilion, located in the Las Vegas Convention Center's North Hall, which will be twice the size of last year's Pavilion, at 48,000 square feet and 185 exhibitors, according to Karen Chupka, CEA's events and conferences senior VP.
The previously announced
TechZone will feature GE Appliances, Sears Kenmore and floor-care maker Bissell, among other suppliers. LG Electronics told TWICE it will be exhibiting its major appliance line at its booth at CES, but is not participating in the TechZone.
, designed for Hollywood's film, television and digital communities, sponsored by
, will feature exhibits, events and conference programs designed specifically for entertainment professionals interested in the convergence of content and technology.
And Shapiro provided further details on the
first revealed at CEA's Industry Forum last month in San Francisco. Pricing is $49.95 annually, with a special introductory price of $29.95 for the first 2,000 members. To join, visit
. One of the benefits for the first 1,000 registered members is a one-time only celebration at the final day of the 2011 CES, Jan. 9, for the first 1,000 registered members.
Shapiro also revealed that he is introducing a product at CES for the first time, a book called,
with a forward by Mark Cuban.
In his remarks about the current state of politics in Washington, technology and trade regulations being faced by the CE industry in D.C. and nationwide -- and CEA's own
, which Shapiro pointed out now has 100,000 members -- Shapiro touched on several issues he discussed in a
interview last month and in his speech at the
In discussing Washington politics after the election, he said he thinks that all the lame-duck session of Congress will produce will be the budget resolution to keep the government working.
Shapiro said that the "new politicians" who have reached Washington "must make the tough decisions [now] that they have avoided" for years.
He believes that in the next two years D.C. will be focused on the 2012 presidential election, but free-trade agreements that CEA has long backed will likely be passed, since President Obama and key Democrats are now supporting the issue. "These agreements will add 200,000 jobs," Shapiro said.
He also thinks that the Republicans will provide "fewer bailouts for old business models that don't work," for example the push by the National Association of Broadcasters for a federal mandate to put
When asked about green regulations about energy efficiency of CE products and recycling, Shapiro maintained CEA's long-held position that the industry would rather have federal legislation on green issues than have each state come up with its own laws on those matters.