The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, which begins on January 9th, will be one of the largest trade shows ever, as start-ups and industry giants alike unveil their latest products in Las Vegas. As Venturebeat reported:
Putting recession fears behind it, the Consumer Electronics Show coming in January looks like it’s going to be one of the biggest in history.
The biggest U.S. tech trade show (officially called the 2012 International CES) will draw an estimated 149,000 attendees to Las Vegas this year, about the same number as attended in January 2011 and not far from the record of 152,000 set in 2006. The big deal will be the Ultrabook, a full-fledged thin computer that turns on instantly.
If 2011 was the year of the tablet, 2012 will be the year of the Ultrabook,” said Jason Oxman, senior vice president at the Consumer Electronics Association, which stages the show. Computer makers will introduce dozens of models of Ultrabooks, which are slim but fully capable computers akin to Apple’s MacBook Air.
The show will likely have more than 2,700 exhibitors occupying more than 1.8 million square feet of exhibit space, Oxman said. That suggests that the high-tech economy is doing better than it was a year ago and it is more confident about its ability to sell the gadgets and services that will be on display at the show. CES is a barometer of the tech ecosystem, from start-ups to big retailers.
“It’s looking very very good,” Oxman said in an interview. “We are just thrilled at the level of excitement and engagement of exhibitors. They are felling good about economic recovery and the interest among consumers in buying consumer electronics. It’s our second-biggest show in history and we are still selling space.”
This year’s show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center and other venues from Jan 9 to 13, with a press day starting Jan. 8. Oxman said that this year’s show is just shy of the record 1.85 million square feet booked in 2008, but he said the show continues to book new exhibitors.
Microsoft, one of the largest companies which attends CES every year announced that 2012 will be its last year at the event. As Cecilia Kang explained :
Microsoft said it decided to pull out of CES after the January 2012 show because it no longer fits its needs and its timing does not always mesh with its product announcements.
“We asked, ‘Are we doing something because it’s the right thing to do, or because it’s the way we’ve always done it?’ ” Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s vice president of communications, said in a blog post.
With the decision, Microsoft follows Apple and other Silicon Valley giants that have preferred more exclusive product launches over the expensive, days-long Las Vegas blitz in which thousands of companies compete for the spotlight. And it shows that events such as CES, run by the Arlington-based Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), is no longer the only way to meet partners and show off new gadgets.