What Is CES, and Why Should I Care?

The Consumer Electronics Show happens every year in early January, and it’s hard to keep up with all the gadget news during CES. But what exactly is CES, can you go, and why should you care?

What Is CES?

CES is the “Consumer Electronics Show.” It’s held in Las Vegas each year in early January. The first CES happened more than fifty years ago.

More than 182,000 people attend CES, with more than 4,400 companies showing off their products. That’s according to the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES. Individuals and companies come from all over the world to attend.

The show is enormous, and it sprawls out across the city of Las Vegas. There are two massive show floors covering the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and Sands Expo center, making up more than 2.75 million square feet of space in total. On top of that, many companies have private suites at the hotels where they show off their products by invitation only.

So Can I Go?

Sorry! Despite the name, CES isn’t actually for consumers. It’s an industry convention centered around consumer electronics, not an electronics show for consumers. It brings together everyone from technology journalists to big companies, startups, suppliers, purchasers, and other businesses.

To register and gain admission, you have to convince the Consumer Technology Association of your industry credentials.

In the past, we’ve seen people hawking admissions badges on the Las Vegas strip, trying to sell tourists on the opportunity to walk the show floor. But the convention has stepped up security recently and now prints photos on those badges in an attempt to stop people from passing them around.

What’s the Point of CES?

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