CES 2023: Suggestions and methods for the largest in-person tech commerce occasion


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I first attended the Client Electronics Present again within the Nineties when then-Microsoft CEO Invoice Gates gave the opening keynote speeches yearly. Las Vegas has modified lots since then, however a few of my recommendation concerning the present goes again to these good outdated days.

As an example, it’s at all times necessary to put on cozy footwear. I realized that lesson after some blisters throughout a CES years in the past. What’s modified? Nicely, I’d suggest carrying a masks more often than not at CES 2023, which begins for the press on January 3 after which will get beneath means for actual on January 5 and ends January 8.

A lot of my recommendation is just not rocket science, however I cooked this up with the information that it will likely be a hybrid occasion — one thing ceaselessly modified by the pandemic that pressured the present into digital type in 2021. The present occurred in individual in January 2022, however the Omicron wave of COVID-19 took its toll. Many individuals reported getting sick and solely 45,000 went to the present, far beneath the 175,212 that confirmed up in 2019.

Since there are new folks attending the present yearly and lots of going again for the primary time since 2020, I really feel obligated to supply my suggestions and methods. (However I take no duty for unhealthy recommendation.) I even have new suggestions, like pointing you to the CES app, which got here out only in the near past.


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CES 2023 is anticipated to attract 100,000 techies, down some from 175,212 in 2019, 171,268 in 2020 and means up from 45,000 in 2022, based on an informed guess from Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Client Expertise Affiliation, the commerce group that places on the present. The entire occasion will appear a day shorter than regular, partly as a result of New Years Day falls on a Sunday and lots of staff will likely be taking Monday off. That alone will account for fewer attendees throughout your complete occasion. However the occasion runs via Sunday the eighth.

CES 2020 had about 4,500 exhibitors throughout 2.9 million sq. ft of house. This yr, CES 2023 will probably have shut to three,000 exhibitors throughout not less than 2.1 million sq. ft of house.

Must you go?

CES 2022 present on the height day on January 5, 2022 on opening day. It wasn’t very crowded.

Nicely, the present is massive. Final yr, there have been 3,100 media attending CES 2022. And so they wrote 177,000 tales. CES 2020 had an estimated financial influence of $291 million in Las Vegas. Buyers have contributed greater than $10 billion so far to startups at Eureka Park.

These are some respectable causes to contemplate the present as a must-attend for some of us. However, everybody ought to take into account the well being dangers of going to an enormous occasion.

I nonetheless view CES as a bellwether for the tech financial system, as no different occasion spans your complete tech world prefer it does. Firms need to create a buzz at CES, which is designed to sign merchandise coming within the subsequent yr. I discover the present a helpful strategy to keep in control on the newest expertise. In case you discover the well being danger acceptable, then it may nonetheless be a precious strategy to keep in contact.

Apple doesn’t attend the present, however nearly each different tech large does. It’s the place the tech trade will likely be subsequent week, although it’s not a lot of a recreation occasion nowadays. Sony, nonetheless, will likely be exhibiting up and you’ll wager they’ll speak extra about PlayStation VR 2.

And whereas a few of that may make you optimistic, the specter of tech layoffs is hanging over the present. Shapiro hasn’t seen a fall-off in registration, however he acknowledges a “rebalancing within the tech neighborhood.”

“Tech has been very sturdy for a few years. However there at all times is a enterprise cycle. It looks like each 10 years — the final one was 2008-2009. In a means there was 2020. Earlier than that you just had 2000-2001, and 1990-91,” stated Shapiro. “There are recessions. The tech trade is just not proof against the influence of the financial system total. However in the long term, the tech trade, shopper expertise, so many alternative flavors of fixing human issues, has an excellent future.”

Well being protocols

Gary Shapiro wore his mask at CES 2022 during the Omicron wave.
Gary Shapiro wore his masks at CES 2022 through the Omicron wave.

This yr’s well being procotols are completely different from CES 2022. After all, the CTA will argue it’s protected. And it says it is going to “monitor COVID and different well being developments throughout the globe and can observe well being security pointers from the WHO and CDC, in addition to relevant federal, state and native legal guidelines.”

Earlier than you allow residence, CES encourages you to get a flu shot, stand up so far along with your COVID vaccines and booster photographs, and check often as the simplest strategy to detect COVID and isolate in case you are contaminated.

CDC pointers as of September 10, 2022, require worldwide vacationers to the U.S. to indicate proof of vaccination towards COVID earlier than boarding a flight to the U.S. CES suggests that you just self-test earlier than leaving and upon arriving in Las Vegas. You’ll find Las Vegas testing websites at NVCovidFighter utilizing the zip code 89109.

CES will present entry to speedy antigen exams. In case you really feel unwell onsite at a CES exhibit venue, the CTA will provide free testing at designated medical stations. It additionally will present isolation suggestions from the CDC when you check constructive. It can additionally present masks. It recommends you put on a high-quality masks indoors in case you are extra comfy and it asks that you just “respect these round you that select to take action.”

Since 2020, CES displays have improved air flow programs and elevated exterior air circulation. They may even have decreased floor contact factors in high-traffic areas. There may even be more room for social distancing. Safety screening entry factors may have one-way visitors circulation. It suggests you keep away from shaking fingers and use hand sanitizer, which will likely be obtainable within the venues.

Getting your badge and moving into the present

Sign at CES 2019.
Signal at CES 2019.

It’s a must to work within the tech trade to get into the present. It’s a spot for professionals, not vacationers, and registration is designed to display the vacationers out.

With 100,000 folks on the present, you don’t need to get caught in lengthy traces. You may keep away from the primary massive line by choosing up your badge by exhibiting your ID and present registration early. You will get your CES badge on the baggage declare areas of the airport and many of the venues.

There may even be traces moving into the venues. You’ll have to undergo a bag search on the entrance to all present venues. All luggage are topic to look and metallic wand screening. As well as, common attendees can solely carry two small luggage, every smaller than 12”x17”x6” into present venues.

Attendees are inspired to contemplate their bag kind and use clear luggage (mesh, plastic, vinyl, and many others.) to expedite entry. Rolling luggage of any dimension are prohibited together with baggage, carry-ons, laptop computer and pc luggage, and rolling baggage carts.

Media with an official media badge are permitted to hand-carry gear onto present premises in extra of the two-bag restriction. This gear is topic to look and tagged as accredited for entry. In case you’ve received a superb mild laptop computer, I counsel you deliver it. And perhaps deliver a backup when you’ve got one. However take into account the tradeoffs of getting backup stuff and a heavier bag that may kill your again.

In case you do have heavier luggage, you possibly can examine them on the Las Vegas Conference Heart Central Plaza and West Corridor exterior areas, the Venetian Expo Degree 1 foyer, and the Venetian Ballroom lobby.

Peak occasions for CES crowds

The gang at CES 2013.

The press occasions begin late on January 3 and proceed all day on January 4. Lisa Su, CEO of Superior Micro Units, will kick off the keynote speeches at 6:30 p.m. on January 4 on the Venetian Palazzo Balloom, adopted by a chat at 8 p.m. at The Pearl Theater at The Palms by BMW chairman Oliver Zipse.

The expo will begin in locations just like the Las Vegas Conference Heart and the Sands Expo on January 5, when you possibly can anticipate to see the crowds exhibiting up.

John Might, CEO of John Deere, will give a keynote on the morning of January 5 at 8:30 a.m. within the Venetian Palazzo Ballroom, and the CTA’s Shapiro may even give a type of state of the union about tech throughout that point.

Different talks will happen on the Aria’s C House part, the place audio system like Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Traces, Jeremi Gorman, president of world promoting at Netflix, and Francine Li, world head of selling at Riot Video games, will communicate.

These audio system are extra numerous than up to now. And so they replicate the truth that expertise is transferring nicely past tech firms and all main firms are adopting it. When tech fades into the woodworks, like into the large John Deere combines harvesting wheat, it has reached a brand new stage. The web-connected tractors are all about getting extra meals to folks on this planet.

I’m undecided what to anticipate on Saturday and Sunday (January 7-8) on the present. CES normally doesn’t final that lengthy, however some folks may be arriving on these days simply to see the present with out crowds.

Press days

CES 2021 will be all virtual.
CES 2023 will likely be again in individual. Right here’s a scene from a previous occasion.

As I discussed, the press days will begin earlier with some digital occasions, like Nvidia’s 8 a.m. on-line press occasion on January 3 and Acer’s 9 a.m. on-line occasion the identical day.

At 4 p.m. on January 3, CTA vice chairman of analysis will kick off the primary CES occasion on the Mandalay Bay in a press-only occasion, adopted by CES Unveiled at 5 p.m., the place scores of firms will likely be exhibiting off their award-winning stuff for the primary time on the present.

For the press, Tuesday January 4 is a type of baptism by hearth, because of press occasions beginning at 8 a.m. with LG and ending with Sony’s 5 p.m. press occasion. The opening keynote follows, after which the press strikes on to the Pepcom (press solely) get together at Caesar’s Palace. The rival Showstoppers press get together takes place on the Bellagio this yr on January 5.

That is the day once I want the laptop computer with the longest battery life. (Sure, that’s nonetheless a problem).

As famous, Wednesday is when the actual crowds present up, and also you’ll discover it in eating places, transportation traces, conference halls, on line casino flooring, and on the airport. Let’s hope the climate will likely be good, in distinction to the torrential rains we noticed in 2018, when blackouts took out the principle present ground.

In case you’re leaving the conference focus on 6 p.m., you possibly can catch a bus to many of the main motels. However that’s additionally the busiest visitors time. You’ll should stroll (maybe a great distance) to designated areas for Uber/Lyft ride-sharing pickup zones. And there’s the monorail to contemplate as nicely for some motels.

Getting misplaced within the maze

The decrease stage of the sprawling South Corridor of the Las Vegas Conference Heart #CES2014

The two.1 million-plus sq. ft of exhibition house will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday January 5.

In case you’re actually bold, you might be strolling 30,000 steps a day, about 3 to six occasions as a lot as regular. For me, exhaustion units in round 20,000 steps. In case you can reduce some pointless strolling out of your day, that will be smart to do.

You can begin by attending to know the places. The LVCC Central Corridor is the place numerous the large firms are, akin to Samsung, Sony, Canon, Sharp, Nikon, IBM, Panasonic, LG, Bosch, and lots of extra.

You may stroll throughout a connector from the Central Corridor to the South Corridor, the place there are a mixture of massive cubicles, small cubicles, and assembly rooms (that are means within the again).

The South Corridor itself is complicated, because it has two ranges. South Halls 1 and a couple of are on the bottom stage, with sales space numbers starting from 2000 to 22999 and 25000 to 27999 on the bottom stage. South Halls 3 and 4 (30000-32999, 35000-37999) are on the higher stage, and each are simply reached by way of the South Corridor connector.

Daimler and Bosch self-driving cars
A Bosch/Daimler self-driving automotive.

The metaverse goes to be a key theme, regardless that some folks within the know had been enthusiastic about it earlier and aren’t as enthusiastic about it now that we’ve a downturn. However I imagine there’s a wave of latest applied sciences about to hit that may unfold curiosity within the metaverse throughout all industries.

Will we see proof of that at CES this yr? I actually don’t know the way a lot of that tech will likely be prepared. However CES is usually about advertising hype, and the individuals who market stuff there know a catchy pattern after they see one.

Some like Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg imagine that VR will develop into one thing large. However others really feel like it will likely be a distinct segment. Apple will probably allow augmented actuality to take off on cellular. However that’s not the whole thing of the metaverse. Avid gamers are going to be in growth mode. Hollywood will promote the sci-fi imaginative and prescient. The economic and ecommerce industries will likely be large. Manufacturers will go the place the individuals are.

Altogether, that provides as much as a substantial quantity of drive working in favor of the metaverse. A recession will sluggish these items down, however I don’t suppose it is going to kill the metaverse.

I’m going to average a panel at CES on Friday January 6 about how gaming will lead the metaverse. It can happen at 3 pm on Friday January 6 at LVCC North / N262 and have audio system from Area15, Upland, Holoride and Tilt 5.

The present may have a devoted house for issues like gaming once more, however it is going to even have new areas devoted to Web3, blockchain and cryptocurrency. We’ll see quite a lot of immersive digital experiences, like a mission the place carmaker Stellantis and Microsoft are teaming up on a showroom within the metaverse.

Sony is prone to exhibit its PSVR 2 product launching on February 22. Varied publications have stated that HTC may even exhibit a brand new headset that may be a device for gaming, leisure, enterprise and productiveness. L’Oreal will likely be there demoing augmented actuality merchandise. Nvidia will hopefully give us an replace on the Omniverse instruments for constructing the metaverse for engineers.

This yr will characteristic new themes akin to cellular tech targeted on marine environments in addition to a dwell demo session with the Worldwide House Station.

The transportation sections will develop because the march towards autonomous autos continues. Shapiro stated the present may have an “extremely sturdy” well being tech class.

Shapiro expects we’ll see numerous meals tech, like from an organization known as Suvie, which cooks meals when you’re away and is prepared whenever you get residence.

Based mostly on the pitches I’m getting, I believe we’ll see numerous tech associated to synthetic intelligence, health-focused wearables, energy-saving gadgets, customized 3D printing, the web of issues (IoT), sleep care, elder care, psychological care, sensible vehicles, robots, digital actuality (suppose Sony and HTC).

So far as humanitarian points go, CES is teamed with the United Nations and its concentrate on basic human rights, like the fitting to wash air and water, the fitting to healthcare, safety and mobility.

Your CES survival suggestions

Intel’s CES 2018 keynote had some superb visuals on a large display. This picture is a visualization of a trove of information.

Lots of the following tips are recycled from previous years, however I’ve gone via and renewed them with my newest information. As I discussed, it’s laborious to get round at CES. You must maintain appointments to a half hour, however word that it takes time to stroll between venues. You might encounter delays as a result of different individuals are delayed. And you could even have bother discovering folks at giant cubicles. So it’s good to pad your schedule to account for attainable delays and isolate the actually necessary appointments.

The CES badges now have photographs on them, streamlining identification and making it tougher for folks to share badges.

In your crowded flights, attempt to journey mild. For Southwest, I at all times examine in forward of boarding, setting an alarm for precisely 24 hours earlier than my flight. Examine your baggage when you don’t should get anyplace shortly. Be ready for lengthy cab traces and rental automotive check-in traces. (Providers like Uber and Lyft had been very helpful at CES, notably as parking is just not plentiful sufficient and the large casinos/motels now cost $10 per go to at their self-parking garages). I don’t lease a automotive anymore.

I like to recommend sleep. If the events are what you care about, there are sometimes get together lists that flow into. Right here’s one which I’ve seen. These events typically require distinctive invites and RSVPs. On Thursday, Dolby Labs is throwing a live performance with Think about Dragons.

Bear in mind to swap cellphone numbers with the folks you might be assembly so you possibly can coordinate, notably as somebody is normally held up by the crowds. Incorporate driving and consuming occasions into your calendar, or use a calendar that does that routinely for you.

Smartphone reception is best than it was, however it’s nonetheless in all probability liable to interference. Textual content message is normally a good strategy to talk with coworkers. We at all times search out the Wi-Fi/5G havens within the press rooms or wherever we are able to discover them.

Will the metaverse compete with physical events like CES?
Will the metaverse compete with bodily occasions like CES?

However carry a MiFi or activate a private hotspot when you can; even resort web connections are prone to be careworn to the restrict through the present. In case you’re accountable for importing video, thanks for clogging the community for the remainder of us. By CES 2023, I hopefully received’t should complain about this, as 5G networks ought to theoretically allow quicker connection speeds on mobile information.

In case you accumulate numerous swag, you possibly can ship it residence by way of transport providers as a substitute of carting it on the aircraft. You must print a map of the exhibit ground or rip one out of the present information. You also needs to print your tickets, schedule, and RSVPs for occasions — or make them simply accessible in your cellphone. (If somebody steals your major bag, you need to have backups in a second bag).

You want battery backup in your laptop computer or smartphone, hand sanitizer, a superb digital camera, ibuprofen, and nutritional vitamins. I’ve received an HP Elitebook and a Dynabook laptop computer this yr. Deliver a backup for every thing, even when it’s a must to depart it in your resort room this yr.

I used to suggest taking enterprise playing cards. However these can carry germs and who desires that now? Now you possibly can swap your LinkedIn credentials with folks by way of your smartphone. In case you’re exhibiting, put on your organization model in your shirt. Strive very laborious to keep away from shedding your cellphone. I put on a jacket with zippered pockets so I can put my cellphone and pockets inside.

Make a while to stroll the present ground. If the cab/rideshare traces have you ever pissed off, don’t take into consideration strolling to a close-by resort. Likelihood is the cab line there may be additionally unhealthy, and the motels are so large {that a} mirage impact makes them look deceptively shut. You probably have a rental automotive, strive to not get caught in a visitors jam in a 10-story parking storage. And at all times mark down the place you parked your automotive in your cellphone map or paper.

CES 2022 ony drew about 45,000 people.
CES 2022 solely drew about 45,000 folks.

Uber and Lyft vehicles are actually the best way to journey now. However in previous years I discovered that the pickup on the LVCC (close to the Renaissance Lodge) was a visitors logjam. So it may be powerful it doesn’t matter what you do.

Schedule your appointments in places which are close to one another, and examine exhibitor places on a CES map. Arrive early for keynotes as a result of the traces are lengthy.

Drink a lot of water. Get some sleep — you actually don’t should get together each night time. Don’t miss your flight on the best way out. Pack up a bunch of snacks early on to keep away from getting caught in breakfast or lunch traces. Take a smartphone with a superb digital camera as a result of what occurs in Vegas … will get shared on the web.

As for the notion which you can expertise the present in each digital and bodily methods, Shapiro stated, “We’ve realized that the digital expertise enhances the dwell expertise in some ways. Lots of essentially the most devoted digital customers of our platform had been those who attended CES, who had been very busy folks, who couldn’t get to all of the conferences they wished to or join with all of the exhibitors. We’ve determined to increase the platform via the top of February, so folks going to the present can proceed their expertise for greater than double the time we had in 2022. We’ll additionally provide a distant choice for many who select to not go to CES.”

He added, “What we realized in 2021 and 2022, and even going all over the world and speaking to our constituencies and having dwell occasions in Amsterdam and Paris and New York and elsewhere, is that individuals need to go and see their clients, to search out new clients, to find new issues that they wouldn’t be capable to uncover on-line. Serendipity continues to be an important issue. The dwell expertise, for many individuals, is a very powerful factor.”

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