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CEA Sets CES 2004 Keynote Slate At IFA

Berlin, Germany – Using a stage at what some consider to be the world’s largest consumer electronics show – Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) – Gary Shapiro, the president of the U.S. Consumer Electronics Manufacturers’ Association, announced the slate of keynote speakers at what he calls the world’s largest consumer electronics show – International CES.

‘An international gathering place for consumer electronics is not only here in Berlin every two years, but also every year in Las Vegas at International CES,’ said Shapiro. ‘It will be held January 8-11 in Las Vegas, NV. The CES is the largest gathering of CE exhibiters in the world. It is also the world’s largest trade show. It is the largest technology trade show in the world. It encompasses everything that is a global consumer electronics industry.’

Shapiro said CES covers ‘1.2 million net square feet that does not include aisles and things like that’ – a reference to the significant space between the numerous separate halls of the Berlin Messe complex that houses IFA.

Shapiro also later added that while IFA is the clear winner in sheer attendance (early attendance figures passed 150,000), those numbers include general consumer attendance in addition to trade and press. He added that CES’ numbers, which he cited at 110,000 attendees, include only trade and press visitors.

‘Our lineup of keynote speakers that helps define the show, reflects the international breadth of the event,’ Shapiro said. The 2004 show will include Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who will speak on Jan. 9, Gary Forsee, chairman of Sprint Corp. and opening keynoter Fumio Ohtsubo, Panasonic AVC Network Companies president and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. senior managing director.

Shapiro also announced the Industry Insider’s Series will return for a second year with Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon CEO, and Paul Otellini, Intel president and COO headlining the series.

In a new step, Shapiro said CEA will invite ‘government leaders in technology from around the world’ to join with over 100 government officials from Washington in attending CES. He said that to date, ‘top technology leaders’ from France, Australia, Chili and other countries, have given ‘positive acceptances.’

Shapiro said the international invitees are expected to discuss common technology challenges including broadband, intellectual property protection and ‘their desire to have their countries’ citizens better themselves and to have, and for the electronics and technology industries to have base in their countries.’

Shapiro called the exercise, ‘a phenomenal opportunity that highlights the importance of the international CES as the global forum for technology discussions.’

In addition, 25 ‘Tech Zones’ have been planned for 2004 CES.