CES Boasts Largest-Ever Showfloor in Show’s 53-Year History

January 17, 2019

The 53rd annual CES took place Jan. 8-11, attracting around 180,000 attendees and 4,500 exhibiting companies from more than 155 countries. Occupying 2.9 million net square feet of expo space at the Las Vegas Convention Center, this was the technology show’s largest-ever showfloor.

Due to space constraints, the show’s attendance likely won’t grow much more. The goal is to keep attendance capped at around 180,000, says Sarah Brown, senior manager of event communications with Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES. Last year’s show saw 182,198 domestic and international attendees; final numbers from 2019 are still being audited.

Split into three locations—Tech East, Tech West and Tech South—the show already occupies LVCC and Sands Expo, in addition to nine Las Vegas hotels.

New to the showfloor this year was a section called Resilience, an area focused on technologies keeping the world powered, warm, fed and secure. It included 13 exhibitors. To help make the show more affordable for startup tech exhibitors, a section of the show floor called Eureka Park offered a lower-cost alternative to regular booth space. 

The CTA also made a big commitment to diversity at CES this year: It will invest $10 million in venture firms and funds focused on women, people of color and other underrepresented startups and entrepreneurs.

“To continue to evolve and grow, the tech industry needs more equal access to venture funding,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Various research reports indicate diverse teams make better decisions and achieve greater profits.”

He added, “At CTA, this is one more tool we are deploying to help promote diversity in the technology industry.”

CES kicked off in 1967 in New York City with 250 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees. It’s since grown by more than 10-fold and encompasses both traditional and non-traditional tech industries. It was at this show that companies have introduced innovations that made major impacts on history, from the VCR in 1970 to the CD player in 1981, HDTV in 1998 and tablets in 2010.


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