CES 2020 – Just What Exactly is CES Anymore?

photo from the WWE website; WWE is a new CES 2020 exhibitor
Buyer/seller negotiations on the CES floor are getting pretty tough! Image is from the WWE, a new exhibitor at CES this year

For many, many years the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – an exposition hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) – was a huge part of the technology industry. In many ways, it was virtually the embodiment of tech – you HAD to go there to discover the latest products that were being shown to buyers so they could get their orders placed in time for the prime selling season starting in the fall of that year.

CES 2020 – what has become of CES, our beloved technology show?…

Well, the CTA will tell you that CES remains “the world’s largest and most influential tech event, where the entire technology ecosystem gathers to conduct business, launch products, build brands and partner to solve some of the world’s most challenging issues.” But does that description survive scrutiny?

In years past, I’ve talked fondly about the days of attending CES, which at one time took place twice a year – in June in Chicago…and then, later, in January in Las Vegas. The Vegas iteration was introduced in large part to facilitate the then-nascent car stereo business…whose “on” season began in the Spring. For years, the June show was the biggest tech event. But eventually, the industry was no longer able to support two shows a year, and January in Vegas won out.

Millions of Dollars Changed Hands in a Few Days

As I’ve often recounted, back in those “salad days” I well remember launching new lines at the show, showing/explaining/demonstrating new products to buyers, and sitting down in our meeting rooms with those buyers to write their orders for these new – and soon shippable – products. It was incredibly exciting…and at times a little stressful…especially if we were entering a new category for the first time. Buyers had to make snap decisions on the fly – a charged environment for them as well I suppose, given that they had to be able to instantly compare models between brands and make their commitments there…on the spot!

CEScrowdHaier
CES from the past

I remember the incredibly warm fuzzy feeling of flying home with a briefcase full of orders. Some retail buyers would give an initial order, others would give an opening order…and scheduled orders for the remainder of the year. There was an electric atmosphere, if you’ll pardon the pun, as literally millions of dollars would change hands in just a few days.

Fortunes were made and lost in a matter of days. No, I don’t mean at the gaming tables (although that was undoubtedly true as well) – I mean if companies or buyers guessed wrong, they stood to lose a bundle.

CES 2020 – A Small Fraction

Those days are long gone and the new CES is pretty much little more than an exposition. The CTA estimates that there will be 175,000 attendees at the event this year. I’m guessing it is but a small fraction of those that are actually buyers…most are gadget freaks looking for fun stuff to play with…or other tangentially related parties, such as venture capitalists looking at startups, banks/financial types looking for potential loan customers, or marketing companies looking for new clients.

In the wake of the last recession, where CES looked like it might be in trouble – the CTA began expanding the number of product categories supported in order to try and pull in more bodies onto their show floor. No doubt, CEO Gary Shapiro saw this as a pragmatic necessity in the face of the declining popularity of trade shows. And, it seems to be working…as attendance counts remain high. But is it truly a “tech event” as CTA calls it?

The Definition of CES is Changing

I believe the definition of CES is changing. Can we call this a tech event when the industry’s most influential and powerful tech companies don’t attend? Let’s face it, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook don’t have those massive booths at CES and haven’t had one for years. They each hold their own events.

Oh I know, CTA crowed about the fact that Apple would be at this years show – but that turned out to be Apple’s Global Privacy Officer Jane Horvath, who along with Facebook’s VP of Public Policy and Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan are there participating in a roundtable discussion on privacy. But there is no Apple booth or presence on the show floor.

Photo of John Deere tractor. Deere is at CES 2020
Ag tech (agricultural technology) is a new category at CES 2020 (for reasons that escape me) with John Deere as a prominent new exhibitor [Click to enlarge]

Long time readers know that I have propounded on this topic before. Every decision has consequences. When CTA added cars and appliances to the show floor, many in the media – including me – said these are not tech categories. But the CTA has a VERY broad definition of what constitutes TECH. They point to autonomous vehicles and refrigerators with cameras and web-enabled displays in them as tech products. But the appliance attendee is a different attendee than the tech attendee.

CES ‘Tech’ Exhibitors – John Deere, Procter & Gamble, Bridgestone, Delta Air Lines, DuPont…

And an announcement by CTA this year about CES carries on with that theme. What are the top new things to “watch for” at the 2020 CES according to the CTA?

“Expect the unexpected from non-traditional tech company exhibitors, including, Bell, Impossible Foods, John Deere, NBCUniversal, P&G and WWE. New exhibitors include Abbott, Bridgestone, Delta Air Lines, DuPont, Humana and Weber. CES 2020 will feature 1,550+ new exhibitors.”

CTA press release

The Latest Impossible Foods ‘Tech’ from the Folks Who Brought You the Impossible Burger

CES 2020 new electric toothbrush
New electric toothbrush from new exhibitor P&G

Yep, Impossible Foods, the company that sells the Impossible Burger hamburgers that are made from plant-based products, is apparently a tech product. In fact, the Impossible Burger was selected as the Top Technology in last year’s CES by Digital Trends magazine. You could say that’s brilliant…or you could say that’s a sad commentary on the state of the technology business.

One of the new keynote speakers this year is the CEO of Delta Air Lines – opening the door to an entirely new industry. Also notable are the media additions, including NBCUniversal and World Wrestling Entertainment. While there is a complementary relationship between tech and content…these two things are not interchangeable or one-and-the-same. There are several trade shows that more directly address the many segments of the content industry.

The ‘Everything is Tech’ Show

As CES rushed to be the Everything is Tech Show, I submit for your consideration that something is being lost. Most in the media now refer to CES as “The Gadget Show.” Many in media warn their readers that most of what is shown at CES will never make it to market.

Big companies like John Deere or Procter & Gamble seem to be dabbling in CES to see if they can glean a little “tech innovator” buzz for decidedly non-tech companies. Oh sure, P&G has a new electric toothbrush and John Deere has a new “self-propelled sprayer” with a “120-foot carbon-fiber boom” – but are these things truly tech – or meant for the technology buyers attending the show?

Staring at an Empty Roll of Toilet Paper? You Need ‘RollBot’?

Yes, P&G is showing a cute little robot that they have punnily called the “RollBot,” that delivers a roll of toilet paper to you. That is perhaps a little more germane, but are tech shoppers looking for toilet paper robots? And is P&G the best robot developer to deliver this capability?

At CES 2020, P&G brand Charmin is showing a RollBot
Procter & Gamble brand Charmin is showing a Robot…er, RollBot (get it?) that will deliver a roll of toilet paper when you run out. P&G is a new exhibitor at CES 2020

I don’t believe that there is a large contingent of grocery-shopping Moms & Dads looking for electric toothbrushes or farmers looking at tractors and sprayers marching around the show floor. I’m sure there are some…but not many, I would think.

To Explain ‘Ag Tech’ to the Tech Audience… But Why?

Perhaps the real story is as John Deere says in their CES press release…

“One of the important reasons Deere is exhibiting at CES 2020 is to identify and promote current and potential new technologies to agriculture that will enhance farm productivity, profitability and sustainability. According to Laurel Caes, public relations manager for John Deere, company staff will be on hand to explain the ag technology on display to the tech audience in attendance and highlight the important role technology plays in helping to feed a growing world population. ‘Exhibiting at CES helps John Deere stay connected to technology advancements and bring the best solutions possible to our customers,’ Caes said.”

John Deere press release announcing their attendance at CES

I think this roughly translates as John Deere seeks to grab a little of the tech innovator glow, like all the tech companies surrounding them. P&G as well, surely is trying to use CES to help them grab onto the descriptor as a tech innovator.

Well Played, CTA

So to CTA, I’ll say, “Well played.” Clearly, this strategy has resulted in increases in overall attendance, if divided amongst more niches. While the economy is strong, these and many other companies will experiment with spending the significant amounts of money necessary to participate in a show with only a small percentage of its audience interested in what they are offering. But the minute the U.S. economy is impacted by another economic slowdown or recession – which is likely sooner rather than later – those companies taking these low percentage shots will almost certainly disappear from an event that’s just not central to their main marketing efforts.

For the last three years or so, I have spoken with more and more specialty A/V and custom integration folks who tell me they’ve dropped out of this event. Even some prominent media folks have stopped attending. That’s a shame, because in the not-too-distant past, specialty A/V technology was a prime driver that helped to build this show.

A ‘Fool’s Errand’?

Instead of seeking ways to make this show even more valuable to those companies truly in the tech business…CTA chose to reach out to other business segments and convince them they are…or should be…in the tech business. Without a doubt, that has worked…so far. But this could end up little more than a fool’s errand.

I mean no disrespect for those brands that still find this event useful. I have spoken with several East Coast-based companies who find it an effective venue for addressing the western half of the country or for those seeking to outreach to new, incremental market segments. With so many niche segments represented – tech or otherwise – there is no question that a large number of attendees are there. The only question is, do they truly represent your existing customers or an authentic opportunity for your business?

What do you think? Do you see CES as being on the right path? Are farm tractors…flying cars…toilet paper robots…electric toothbrushes…cars…autonomous cars…tires…charcoal & gas grills your business? Are you walking away from this CES feeling as though you reaped a significant return on your investment in time and money to be there? Leave a comment below and tell me what YOU think about CES.


Comments

CES 2020 – Just What Exactly is CES Anymore? — 15 Comments

  1. Ted, I believe this is your annual “CES is not for us” post. I know you are not alone in this feeling, but let’s parse some of what you say here.

    First point: “CES is not a buy-sell show anymore.” I am pretty sure much more buying and selling is taking place at CES right now, then ever happened in the old days. But I agree it is not the only, or even primary focus of the show. The old CES was buying and selling, and trade press. That’s it. The new CES is buying and selling, the trade press, and the rest of the tech world, adjacencies, products that deploy tech, and true mainstream press. I would make the case that vastly more business is being done at CES than was 20 or 30 years ago, and it’s relevant to today’s world. You say the new CES is little more than an exposition. I would say that the old CES was little more than a trade show.

    “CES was in trouble.” You have to know this is a total fabrication. Completely false. CES’s attendees and exhibit space have grown sharply all during the time you describe, and have continued to do so since. You can look at the public records of CTA and see the financials to see the absurdity of this statement. This is a matter of record. You should retract.

    But let’s contrast that with the woeful performance of the CEDIA expo, as you have diligently reported in previous dispatches. What is really going on here? Could it be that CEDIA is focused on an ever-shrinking base, that ever more narrowly defines what it is and who it serves? While CES has consistently through its history engaged in a visionary big tent strategy that welcomes innovation and technology in all its forms.

    Are you the arbiter of tech? Is a agricultural equipment deploying up to the minute technology any less tech than an AV receiver? Either you let the tractor in or you kick the receiver out. Or you sign your own death warrant.

    So much of the specialty industry we’ve both lived in takes pride in the present day of being on the outside looking, proud in their irrelevance to the big things happening in tech and well represented at CES.

    In any case, that’s not for me. I want to learn from the ever-changing world of tech. I want to stay relevant, not on the outside looking in.

    You?

    • Ha-ha…I knew I could count on you Gary! Your points are well taken here and clearly a solid counterpoint to my comments.

      I’ll do more research on my “CES was in trouble” statement. But BTW, in trouble doesn’t mean out of business or in financial difficulty. It means attendance declined in the last recession which motivated Shapiro to expand into new categories. This happened to just about every trade show in America…including CEDIA.

      Regarding adjacencies, let me say this: I attended an NAHB show and was dazzled by dramatic advances in toilet technologies. Furthermore, the science involved in some newly invented exterior building materials was equally impressive. Does that mean they belong at CES?

      My father was in the machine tool business for decades. He went to a trade show in New York a couple of decades ago and brought back a bag full of brochures on heavy machinery. His company was in the market for a new machine, and he was shopping intensely. These brochures were full of huge metal-working machines with dramatic new technological advances in machining features and capabilities…including the early phases of computer-controlled precision metal shaping. Should they be in CES?

      There are technological advances in EVERY industry…that doesn’t mean that every product category from every industry should be at CES…in my opinion.

      I get your “keep an open mind and learn from others” thought – but such a strategy…taken to extremes…has severe trade-offs. You’re such a smart guy, you have to know that is true.

      I acknowledged CTA’s success so far on their path with a sincere “Well played.” However, you can not be all things to all people, all of the time. or forever. You can do it for a while…but you’ll come to the end of the line. We’ve seen it happen before…

      Thanks for your incredibly intelligent, well thought-out and brilliantly articulated counterpoint. You keep me on my toes!

      I also recognize and appreciate your unwavering loyalty and commitment to the CTA. They are lucky to have you in their camp!

      Have a great show!

      Ted

  2. I agree with Ted, the specialty Audio Video channel was the heart and soul of CES from its inception and for those of us serving that channel it was “must attend” event. In the days when it was worth our time and money, it was fun. It was cost effective to have national sales meetings in one place, meet with our international distributors, and debut our new products.

    By 2004, at least for me, it was no longer worth the time and money and no longer fun so I stopped attending after 35 years, including the years when there were two shows a year.

    Everything changes, nothing remains static. CES is no exception. The CES we grew up with no longer exists and that’s OK, we had a good run. I wish CES and all those who attend the best, if the day comes when you don’t think its worth the time and money, you’ll quit too.

  3. Easy answer: CES comprises anyone and everyone Gary can sell a booth to! I enjoyed the show in my early days in the business, when audio dominated the floor and pretty much everybody in the press room was a familiar face. By the time I exited, it had become drudgery and CEDIA was much more manageable and productive. Haven’t been to either in many years now, though I do think occasionally about hitting a CEDIA, just to catch up a little on what’s happening and with anyone who remains from my era.

  4. I went to my first CES show in Chicago around 1974. It was a trade show back then. Today it’s nothing more than a consumer show open to anyone that wants to get in. We don’t go anymore and I would advise anyone in consumer electronics to avoid the expense. I have more customers going and bringing me info than when my sales team would go!!!

  5. Well stated Ted.

    Got back on the red-eye this morning from CES. I have some thoughts similar to yours… and some that are in line with Gary (I was never this “diplomatic in the past :)).

    I’m mostly back in the car audio world these days, so I spent a fair amount of my time in north hall. There are VERY FEW aftermarket 12V ce vendors left from just a half decade ago. Like the home audio guys ending up in suites at the Venetian, the car audio guys who are still attending are mostly ending up in suites at the Westgate and elsewhere.

    North hall has essentially become an OEM car show. Since we live in different times… it is more accurate to describe cars as “mobility devices”. On that premise, apparently, helicopters are fair game. It was unavoidable to notice a gigantic helicopter in the middle of the floor. The Bell “air taxi” (www.bellflight.com) was making its full scale debut, apparently, at CES. I watched the wonderfully produced video and listened to the paid talent describe the “cities of the future” and at one point I turned to the guy standing next to me – who happened to be wearing a Bell badge – and I said… “oh I get it, this is the replacement to the helicopter”. He smiled at me and said “well, yes, you’re correct”. It’s electric so it eliminates all of the noise, pollution, and inefficiencies of the helicopters we’ve known. While I applaud the industry for addressing a category that clearly could use a substantial change like this, I did ask myself what this has to do with “consumer” goods. I guess the fact that it’s electric makes it tech. A licensed pilot is still required, FAA clearance, helipads, and many of the basic elements we associate with helicopters still exist. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, the replacement helicopter still only applies to a tiny fraction of the population and can not be picked up at Best Buy and put in a shopping cart. In my opinion, the Bell helicopter is substantiating both Gary’s and Ted’s points.

    Another observation that was amazingly clear was how few dealers (especially from the east coast) were present at the show. As I personally experienced, rooms at Bally’s/Paris were north of $400/night – not including taxes and the ever-popular resorts fees. A 4-night stay could easily result in a $2K bill at check out and I heard repeatedly from folks how absurd this has become. I was recently at SEMA in early November and the same rooms were half that price… so whatever is going on with CES pricing is certainly scaring many folks away. While I don’t have the facts, someone told me that SEMA has similar attendance to CES… so supply and demand should not be the reason for such inflated pricing. It was a constant theme (price of meals/cocktails clearly another topic) so it is fair to mention this point. CEDIA, SEMA, Knowledgefest, ect. are clearly much less expensive events for dealers to attend.

    As I stated above, I think that both Gary and Ted are making good points… clearly, the CES of the past is in the rearview mirror. Whether you blame CTA for crossing the great divide or whether or not you believe that it is our new reality when toilet paper can be brought to you by a tiny robot, it is the state of the very broad “tech” business which can no longer be confused with its old more humble name – the “consumer electronics” business.

    • Hi Bernie,

      First, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Like you, I have heard many complaints about the cost of attending CES and had noted the growing costs over the last few years myself. Once truly affordable (for real: $8 all-you-can-eat prime rib buffets!) and low room costs subsidized by Casinos trying to grab the lion’s share of the attendees – i.e. gamblers – Vegas has since become incredibly expensive. As CES became the biggest show, dynamic pricing by hotels drove average room costs off-the-charts.

      This makes the return-on-investment calculation very tough for those NOT on cushy corporate expense accounts.

      Now if you’re in the business of looking at helicopters, farm tractors, wrestlers…then it is a necessary business expense. But as more floor space goes to these ancillary “technologies” not immediately germane to show attendees business, that investment gets harder to justify every year.

      I don’t know the attendance numbers for SEMA, but I suspect it is a smaller show than CES. But “smaller” is a relative concept. If by being smaller, that means it is more focused on the business you are actually in…then it can be a much better investment of your time and money.

      Now I get it – if you’re independently wealthy and want to take a short holiday to visit Vegas and play with all of the fun and funny gadgets…then have at it! But if you’re looking at this as an event that will help you be more successful in business…then the show better be in the same business that you are!

      Final point – The rather staid and serious Washington Post sent two reporters to CES…two. They posted a video and reported that their only question that they had for the booth personnel in every booth they attended and whose products they were presented was…why? Why does this product exist?

      SMH…

      Thanks again for your insightful comments Bernie!

      Ted

  6. Thanks Ted, but may I point out that in fact Facebook, Amazon and Google had massive presence at the show, not only taking large amounts of meeting space, but also legions of people promoting, scanning the show and taking meetings if you only looked around. There was a huge Google facility right in front of the Central Hall. In Venetian there was an entire Amazon ballroom comprising a gigantic booth if it was on the floor, the same for Microsoft. Apple of course followed its usual course but felt the show was important enough to send a top executive and to meet to develop the new CHIP standard. Privacy and security are critical issues for the trade including all the CEDIA members.
    Yes, it is no longer an audio video show alone. At one time Audio was 20% of the business, Today it is single digits but it is about as big as ever, it is just that tech for consumers and others have grown more and beyond.
    Since everything is networked now, what should not be considered. What technologies are CEDIA installers not reviewing as they now consider Biophilia, lighting, shades, security, automation, networking, water cut off, etc? Yes, that is a show dedicated to integrators but sharing the same products in many cases. What else was much of the Sands dedicated to?
    I agree, I was there and loved the show years back. It was smaller, there was more time and i could spend more time with friends or going to listen to great audio, but I wrote a whole lot of business at this show and estimate some Billions of dollars in deals were made completely eclipsing the “old days” What do you think the industry should do?
    Just because you may like CEDIA or ISE and they are great shows, that does nothing to the value of CES at all. If you do not need to go, then do not
    I’ve spoken to many who say their vendors or dealers are not there, so go and see the show instead of being pegged to a booth,. It opens the eyes. We have succeeded in embedding tech in everything, from the sublime to indeed the ridiculous, but those are the exhibitors not the show itself. If smart diapers offend you do not go to see them, although they may be a blessing to seniors and senior care. If a toilet paper robot is ridiculous the market will take care of it on its own. Does anyone remember items like that in AudioVideo? I do, many.
    The show has grown because it delivers value to those who display and attend or they would not come, when it no longer does it will shrink.
    After the recession, many cut expenses that was natural. The expansion came from value not the CTA. I can tell you directly these firms ask to come and to exhibit. CTA does not need to solicit them. The keynoters fight to get those slots so if Delta thinks it is worth coming should they be shut out? The show could have sold another 500,000 square feet of space but it was not available. How about 1200 startups including some selling audio.
    Not everyone is served by showing. Not everyone is served by coming, but neither denies the value of CES. If there was not value, then no one would come. As the sage said, “no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Robert,

      Note that my post did not advocate for CEDIA or ISE. In fact, as someone who has been following my writings for a while, I’m sure you must have noticed my pieces critical of that organization as well. In this post you reference, I addressed only the issues I see surrounding CES.

      Also note that while I may have opined wistfully for the good old days of CES, I did not call for their return either. No one knows better than I that things constantly change in the tech business and the show must also change to reflect emerging opportunities.

      I am aware of Amazon’s and Google’s presence which was, in my view, not exactly “massive.” Amazon folks walking a show floor and holding private meetings is not exactly the same as supporting the event by aligning product launches and presenting an exhibit commensurate to their size and influence in tech at CES. Most I’ve spoken with were not particularly impressed with Google’s parking lot tent. To each his own.

      My “Well played” comment was not sarcasm. I see the path CTA and CES has taken with clear eyes. I see the growth in attendance and booth sales. That path has added a lot of value to CTA’s bank account, but has it truly served an industry?

      What I am suggesting though, is that I see a danger being created by turning the Consumer Electronics Show into a venue for non-consumer electronics. Little-by-little, the core meaning of the event is being hollowed out. It looks big from the outside…but collapse is imminent.

      A show (and a trade association) exists to serve an industry. Just because the show could have sold another 500,000 square feet of space” doesn’t necessarily mean it should – even if that space was available. (And by the way, I noticed open booth space in almost every hall.)

      As Mr. Sapienza noted in his comment, the North Hall has turned into an OEM car show. Do we need CES to be a car show?

      My point, offered for discussion by the way, is when you choose to become the everything show…are you not dangerously close to becoming the nothing show?

      Look at it this way Robert, back in the hey days of audio when you were running Denon, did EVERY dealer that approached you with a P.O. or a check qualify to become a Denon dealer? Every…single…one?

      Is CTA simply “harvesting” the show’s perceived value, or is the organization truly improving the business of all the trade attendees. Or should the show be relabeled as a Tech Expo and opened to consumers?

      Congratulations on writing “a whole lot of business at this show.” I wonder how many others walking that floor can say they did as well. Or even if they were even there for that purpose?

      Thanks again for taking the time to read my post, gather your thoughts and contribute to this discussion. It is healthy to debate this key industry topic and I appreciate your contribution to the discussion.

      Ted

  7. “Certs is a candy mint…Certs is a breath mint…STOP, you’re both right!”

    If I may open with a nostalgic line from an old TV spot I suspect some of us here are old enough to remember, everyone here is “right”. Indeed, far be it for me to disagree with Gary, Robert, Bernie and the others expressing an opinion here. There is merit on all sides. A few thoughts to add to the discussion:

    – Times have changed, the market has changed, and the show has changed. THe buyers (those left) and their retail outlets much also change. The impact of streaming services has to be fit into the assortments of retailers and custom people. I, too, remember the glory days of VCR, CD, LV, DVD and other formats of blessed memory. They ain’t coming back any more than the way the outlets that sold them are.

    – Say what one may, hats off to Gary Shapiro for adjusting and expanding the exhibitor constituency. As others here have said, if he kept to the core of legacy, or even new, companies there wouldn’t BE a CES. Look at Panasonic: no TVs anymore, but the expanded focus on other tech areas kept them at the show. Look into the booths from Samsung, LG and even TCL. SHould they not be able to show appliances as part of the greater home technology ecosystem?

    – Indeed, look at the exhibitors on the upper floor of the Sands Expo, certain categories aside. THe growth of “smart this” and “smart that” make it show viable and one might wonder where all of these companies are at CEDIA. Opps, they ARE NOT THERE. What does that tell you?

    – Indeed, when the market, products and distribution channels change, the trade shows must to likewise. Look at VSDA, PARA and NSCA. The associations and their shows didn’t see the change coming and see what happened to them.

    – OK, stunts such as Rollbot and the “odor detector” at the P&G booth were a bit silly, and they will likely never make it to market. On the other hand, how many oddball products did the then “majors” show at McCormick Place.

    – Here’s one that Gary Shapiro wouldn’t like, but the inertia of CES also bring key players to the city but not the SHow. Did any of you see Vizio, Roku, TiVo, Dolby and the like. THey were there but just not on the show floor. Let’s just say that I suspect that the first three of those companies did leave with a bag full of orders, and the last company named likey got some new licensees.

    – Hotel rates? DON’T GET ME STARTED! SHAME on CTA for not using its muscle on that. NAB is in the same league as CES as a top tier show, and I pay a quarter of the room rate at Bally’s or the Flamingo for what my CES room costs.

    Saving the best for last: I trust everyone saw the new exhibit hall under construction where the Landmark used to be. THe one that looks like the International terminal at an airport in China. Imagine how much fun it will be next year when they fill that thing up without moving the current big boys from Central Hall. I only did about 35 miles this year. THat will be nothing when we’ll have to traverse that insanity.

    I can’t help myself. G-d willing I’ll be there next year and hopefully see all contributing above. Good to see Gary Y, but how did I miss you, Ted?

    • Thanks for contributing your thoughts, Mike. The cost of this show has gotten crazy. At least you had the option of driving there to save some money. A solid 2/3rds of the country is stuck with airfare on top of ridiculous hotel charges. You HAVE to write a lot of business to recoup the expense of attending.

  8. It seems like CTA is transitioning from a non-profit to a for profit organization. Just look at the list of non-tech companies and organizations participating in one form or another. I fully appreciate how our industry has evolved but feel CTA has lost its way for the sake of growth and increased revenue.

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