Innovations have recently taken over the inside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Toyota is debuting a fuel-cell car, while multiple manufacturers are showing sensors that track everything from workouts to heart issues. For the first time, 3-D printing has a burgeoning exhibit area; and Ultra HD, the next generation of television, is set to make a splash.
It’s the 2014 International CES, Las Vegas. Welcome to the tech bazaar.
The 2013 event attracted 152,000 attendees and 3,200 exhibitors spread across 1.92 million net square feet at multiple venues, and the Consumer Electronics Association said all numbers are tracking extremely close this year.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority noted the trade show is expected to bring an estimated $194.9 million nongaming economic boost to the city. This week 150 countries will be represented at CES; about 20 percent, or 35,000, attendees are international.
Hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association, the show takes up residence Tuesday through Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center, LVH and The Venetian. Press Day is Monday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
“Every January the latest innovations in technology are unveiled at International CES, generating tremendous worldwide exposure for Las Vegas,” convention authority President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said. “The partnership that has developed between the LVCVA and Consumer Electronic Association over the past three decades has been a key factor in establishing Las Vegas as a global business brand, and helped us achieve our ranking as the No. 1 meeting and convention destination in North America.”
Of its 150 staff members, the Consumer Electronics Association is bringing about 120 to Las Vegas. Setup for the trade show representing the $203 billion consumer electronics industry began Dec. 18 and continues until the doors open Tuesday.
For the first time this year, Freeman is the event contractor, replacing longtime partner GES.
“We had a very long, successful, fruitful partnership with GES. We were with them for more than 20 years,” CES spokeswoman Tara Dunion said.
Dunion cited a need to keep the show as innovative as possible as the reason for choosing to go with Freeman over GES.
“We are proud of our 30 years of experience successfully producing the International CES show. Although we are disappointed that CEA chose to go in a different direction, we wish them continued success, and we look forward to earning their business in the future,” GES spokeswoman Detra Page said.
Even without the whole show contract, GES still has a presence on the floor. The company has more than 30 clients at the 2014 trade show, and GES is providing everything from special events to custom and rental exhibits, installation and dismantle, and transportation.
Aside from Freeman, the 2014 CES will feature a couple of other new partnerships. The association hired a new advertising firm, Concept 73, based in San Clemente, Calif. And, as a result of a bid process earlier in 2013, Cox is the new telecommunications provider at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“We’re excited to be working with new vendors who keep the show innovative and fresh,” Dunion said.
There also is a new registration and badge pickup process. No badges were mailed this year. In an effort to be more green and efficient, all badges were outfitted with near-field communications technology to eliminate extra coupons that typically come with a CES registration.
To ease dissemination, additional badge holder pickup locations have been set up at hotels, McCarran International Airport and around the conferences.
Dunion said CES is contracted to be held in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future. The event has been in the city since 1978.
“It’s a world-class city,” she said. “Vegas really meets the needs of CES and our attendees extremely well.”
The association and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority have a longstanding relationship, one that goes beyond the annual trade show. The two entities are partners in the reimagining of the Las Vegas World Trade Center, which is one component of the Las Vegas Global Business District.
On Monday, the association and travel board are to sign an agreement with World Trade Center Mexico City designed to enhance international business relationships.
The convention authority said the agreement encourages Las Vegas and Mexico City to co-market and facilitate business trade missions around the world.
Meanwhile, individual CES segments are growing.
Specifically, CES is seeing more and more startup companies in its Eureka Park exhibit space, a growing segment of the technology show. In its first year, 2011, 100 companies showed their wares. In its second year 150 businesses came to the party. This year, 200 ideas will be shown in Eureka Park.
Throughout the show floor, expect more apps for car technology and more health care this year: The digital health footprint has grown 40 percent at the show, which features a market-specific TechZone focused on the intersection of technology, health and wellness with more than 65 exhibitors.
New on the floor this year is the 3-D tech zone; the Internet of Everything section; an area devoted to fashion wear; Eureka Park Next (for those slightly above a fresh startup); and Academia Tech, featuring work from major universities.
Keynotes sprinkled throughout the event include industry heavy hitters such as Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich; Yahoo CEO, President and director Marissa Mayer; Twitter CEO Dick Costolo; and Sony Corp. President and CEO Kazuo Hirai.
CES also features numerous educational sessions and special events showcasing the best of the best that technology innovations offer consumers in 2014.
“What’s great about CES is it really showcases all aspects of technology, from the car to the home to our mobile lifestyles to our health,” Dunion said.
“It’s important to help tell the story of how the industry is evolving and what’s coming next. What the future holds is pretty exciting.”
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.