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CEA Resumes College Road Show

Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) will return to 25 top campuses this fall with its third annual product road show.

Dubbed “The TechKnow Overload (TKO) Tour,” the road show provides a mobile, college-based showcase for vendors’ newest CE products during the back-to-school and pre-holiday season. Managed by Mr. Youth, a national youth marketing firm, and sponsored by such manufacturers as Audiovox, Denon, Gibson, Microsoft, Nintendo, Niro, Sirius and Toshiba, the tour will reach 25 schools east of the Mississippi between September and November.

“College students are often hard to reach through traditional direct marketing,” noted CEA’s president/CEO Gary Shapiro. “The TKO tour is a success year after year because we’ve skipped the mail houses and the databases and have literally gone straight to this lucrative market’s back yard.”

Underscoring the significance of the college market is the National Retail Federation’ssecond annual Back-to-College Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, released last month, which showed that parents and students will spend some $7.5 billion on CE this semester, out of a total of about $25.7 billion in back-to-college merchandise.

The TKO tour’s 3,000-square-foot exposition area will feature product demonstrations, interactive experiences and prize contests. Pavilions will include The Ultimate Dorm Room, a fully outfitted 200-square-foot bedroom vignette; The Gamer’s Lounge, which provides demos of the latest in gaming software, hardware and accessories; a soundproof Home Theater pavilion; and an On the Go Zone area for portable, wireless and handheld devices.