Arlington, Va. - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), owner and producer of International CES, welcomed a record 156,153 industry professionals at the 2012 International CES, according to an independent audit.
There were also 3,319 exhibitors from around the globe that unveiled new technology products at CES, a 22 percent increase over last year's show.
In addition, a record-number of international professionals -- 35,734 -- attended the show from more than 150 countries, representing an increase of 13 percent over last year.
The audit, performed by Veris Consulting, confirms CES's status as the world's most important technology event and North America's largest annual tradeshow of any kind, CEA said.
The 2012 CES, held Jan. 10-13 in Las Vegas, spanned 1.86 million net square feet of exhibit space. After the United States, the top 10 countries represented in terms of attendance were Canada, South Korea, Japan, China, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Taiwan, Germany and Brazil.
"The 2012 International CES was the largest in show history and was bursting with innovation as the world's most important technology event," said Karen Chupka, events and conferences senior VP, CEA. "These record-breaking audit results confirm that CES continues to be the must-attend event that unites the global technology industry, including Fortune 500 executives, retail buyers, content producers, entertainment executives, venture capitalists, engineers, government officials and media from every corner of the world."
According to the Veris audit, 43 percent of 2012 CES attendees were senior-level executives. Presidents, CEOs and/or business owners made up 15 percent of attendees. Nearly one-third of all attendees are the final decision makers when it comes to new product purchases or partnerships with other companies, with 97 percent identified as having buying decision influence. More than 12,000 attendees represented companies with more than $500 million in total annual sales, up 4 percent over last year.
The Veris audit also confirms that CES attracts leaders from diverse business areas, including entertainment, retail, education, engineering and venture capital industries. This year, more than 12,000 retail buying organizations, 5,000 manufacturers and 6,000 engineering companies came to CES. Additionally, after a successful inaugural Entertainment Matters program at the 2011 CES, more than 32,000 attendees from the content development and entertainment industry returned to the show in 2012, CEA said.
The 2012 CES also brought together top government officials from the Obama administration, Congress and other parts of the federal government. Five thousand media and industry analysts attended, and media coverage was up 35 percent over 2011.
The International CES has been named North America's Greenest Show by Trade Show Executive Magazine, and this year CEA said it significantly expanded its recycling and repurposing efforts by recycling 75 percent of show materials from the 2012 CES.
Veris is certified by the Exhibition and Event Industry Audit Commission (EEIAC) to perform audits. As part of the Veris audit, each CES attendee is counted only once, and show size is calculated using only exhibit space sold, not hallways or bartered space.
Final audit numbers may differ from preliminary estimates given onsite due to additional badge pick-ups and badge reader reports. This audit complies with the industry standards for audits adopted by both the EEIAC and the International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE).
For full audit results, click
. The 2013 International CES is scheduled for Jan. 8-11, 2013, in Las Vegas.