I’m spending my vocational days working for a group bringing out a new audio product and that effort landed me at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, known tersely as CES.
I’ve been to Vegas many times in the past and it’s just not my cup of tea. It’s a nice playground for adults but I’m not a gambler so there’s really little point. The taxis are expensive. The food is often overpriced (though many great deals are still to be found for the intrepid hunters out there) and the city itself is just dirty.
The coolest item I saw at the show was the Palm Pre cellphone. This one looks like the phone for me except Palm signed an exclusive with Sprint. Huh? They finally nail a great phone and then they tie it to a loser like Sprint? Nice job guys. If this thing ever shows up at Verizon I’ll be all over it. I’m not going to hold my breath though.
As far as the show itself it was clearly an off year. I noticed nowhere near the foot traffic of previous shows. Many of the halls had tightened up the corners and edges to make the floorspace feel as busy as before and the halls were often devoid of vendors.
Meanwhile suites were more numerous than before. The Hilton told me they’d never booked anywhere near as many previously as they have this year and that makes sense. You can get a large suite for a lot less than the cost of floorspace out in the convention center. That sounds like great news for them but then consider that 6 months ago rooms going for $400 a night were down to $69 a night during the event. Deals were to be had all over Vegas for rooms.
All in all it was a great show for our product but I can’t imagine it was a great show for a majority of the offerings there. It’ll be curious to see who locks in for next year.