Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the biggest technology convention of the year. Organized by the Consumer Technology Association, it takes place every year in Las Vegas on the first week of January. CES registration opens a few months before and it is open to any corporation affiliated with the technology industry. For me, CES was a great opportunity to dive into the startup world and experience the power of technology and innovation. At the same time, it was a great place to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and representatives of industry-leading corporations. In 2022, I attended CES as an industry affiliate representing my own company, MBCube Consulting Inc. I got the chance to be at the forefront of innovation and connect with many professionals in the technology field and offer my services to a variety of international potential clients.
The saying "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" really captures the vibe of the city, or at least, that is the vibe I got from the week I spent there. From my first walk down the strip, it was clear to me that the city was all about entertainment. Luxury shopping malls, fancy restaurants, shows, casinos, etc. Everything in sight revolved around having a good time, and I certainly did. The only downside, however, is the cost. My time there was short but very expensive.
The convention was huge and spread out across multiple convention centers and a couple of hotels throughout the city. Hotel halls were used as information centers and badge pickup desks. Most of the conference rooms were used for presentations, but some were used for various other services, like the PCR test clinic. The main space used by CES is the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). This was where the biggest booths were setup inside the exhibition hall. The parking lot was also used for some booths and food trucks.
CES handled transportation very efficiently. First, there were free shuttle buses that went back and forth between every exhibition center and most of the major hotels on the Vegas strip and the convention centers. Second, there were dedicated taxi and Uber pickup and drop-off spots at the convention. Third, CES offered a discounted fare for the Vegas Monorail that spans most of the Vegas strip. Last but certainly not least, to get from one end of the LVCC to the other, attendees could hop on a Tesla and ride through The Boring Company’s hyper-loop tunnel that goes under the convention center.
On the show floor and all over social media and news outlets, the big guys are the stars of the show. Samsung, Sony, LG, and TCL all have massive booths filled with exciting new products. Sony brought back their futuristic electric sedan from the year before, accompanied by a sister SUV prototype. TCL had a lot of new TVs, but at the start of the show was a 98-inch QLED TV. The Samsung booth was laid out like an on-site store for viewing new TVs, digital frames, and the newly announced Samsung projector. BMW was setup in the parking lot outside the LVCC with a demo of the futuristic, first-of-its-kind color-changing SUV.
In addition to the big booths, CES was also filled with plenty of startups who were there to advertise their products and technology. I had the opportunity to try and speak with a few of them:
- Tineco had some existing and new products to show.
- Prinker had a temporary tattoo device that instantly and safely prints any design directly on the skin.
- Renpho had a new set of smart bikes with an experience similar to Paleton.
- Coway had a bunch of new air purifiers on the show floor.
- Lotte had a VR booth where attendees could experience VR shopping and VR k-pop concerts.
- Domotics had a web platform where users could shop for a house in a full VR experience. I had a chat with people in all of these booths and many others. Everyone was very informative and friendly. It was a great opportunity to connect with all these professionals.
January 22 was the peak of the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, CES was also affected by that, but the organisers did their best to keep the situation under control. Face masks were required at every part of the convention. Hand sanitizer stations were installed at every entrance and inside the main halls. Additionally, CES provided every attendee with two boxes of at-home COVID test kits and encouraged the attendees to get tested daily before attending the convention. Furthermore, to ease travel stress, CES provided every attendee with a PCR test before travelling back home.
In each venue of CES, there is an area with private conference rooms and tables and chairs accessible to all attendees. I got the chance to use these areas to catch up on some work and for a couple of meetings with other attendees. The coffee and snacks were refilled throughout the day and were greatly appreciated. I wanted to include this part because I found it well thought out by the organizers.
In conclusion, my experience at CES was memorable, and the pandemic situation certainly made it unique. Las Vegas was very flashy and luxurious, and the hotels and casinos were lively and animated. I got to enjoy all parts of the convention and visit booths of different sizes. The transportation between each of the locations of the conventions was easy and convenient. Although Omicron was wreaking havoc, CES did a great job of providing a professional and safe environment. Lastly, I got to meet many people and grow my professional network.