Effects of the recession to CES
There are likely a large amount of different methods to measure the way in which the deepening recession has impacted the electronics Show, but in Sin Town , it is obvious that one of the finest is how much business the local strip clubs are getting. In a wholly unscientific survey, then, my conclusion is that CES was hit hard by the downturn, at least if the experience of one local taxi driver is any suggestion. “We taxi drivers, we’ve got a thing with the strip clubs, where we get a kickback so it is serious money if we are able to get the fellows to head off to the strip clubs,” asserted Darryl, a 54-year-old taxi driver who asked that his last name not be used.
“I went to the clubs ( during CES ), thinking perhaps I could get some fellows to take them back to their hostels, but I did not have any luck. And a pal, he was looking to get some strip club rides, since they pay us $50 a head, and he did not have any good fortune they were never going out of their way to spend like they routinely would, for that additional sort of entertainment.”.
Basically, it is been terribly tough to judge the effects of the recession on this show, which during the past has been one of the biggest on the planet.
Ask 5 different CES vets what they believed, and you get 5 completely different answers.
But over the course of the 4 days I have been in the city, some patterns have emerged, and in the end, I would say that whilst CES was still packed with attendees and exhibitors spread over the full breadth of the mammoth Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, there were noticeably far fewer folks here than in past years. “There’s way less than in 2007,” expounded Don Sherstobitoff, the owner of Okanagan Home Theaters, and a four-year CES vet.
“I was taking a walk around ( Las Vegas ) and it feels just about like a spook town.”. I have never enjoyed being at CES, and one reason is that in the show, it’s impossible to find a way around Vegas. During the past, the lines for taxis, either at the major hostels or the convention centers, have been horrendous–easily an hour long–and after you eventually got in one, you’d be surrounded in bumper-to-bumper traffic for simply as long, even for a short ride. This year the general consensus is that getting around has been, whilst not precisely liquid, then at least simpler, and faster.
“It’s been ( just ) a half-hour wait for a taxi anywhere,” recounted Sherstobitoff. As I was writing this story, actually, I walked to the taxi line by the convention center’s south hall, to head to the airfield to return home, and literally hopped in a taxi with nil waiting–just an hour before the show closed down for the day on Sat. . Obviously , the taxi economy has been a buyer’s market this year. At the convention center, taxis are backed up almost so far as the eye can see, even as the lines appear obviously shorter than in past times. And that could be, many taxi drivers told me, because of what now appears to have once been an enormous miscalculation as to how many taxis Vegas would need on the streets during CES. “The retards at the taxi commission put enough taxis at streetlevel for 147,000 people,” one 50-something white-haired cabbie told me, “when they knew there’s only half that many. And another cabbie advised that after the taxi corporations struck major deals for advertising on the signage on top of the autos, they made a decision not to tug plenty of the cars off the street even if it became clear CES attendance would be down. In the show, Tara Dunion, the senior director of communications for the electronics organisation, which puts on CES, declared that 130,000 folk were predicted, just eleven thousand less than the 141,000 who came last year. That is 31,000 less than last year, a large 21.9 p.c drop. Yet in its release, the CEA confessed to being happy with how things went.
“At its meeting on the 3rd day of CES,” the release stated, “the forty five members of the CEA Board of Industry Leaders, which includes top managers from giant and small makers and outlets, reported to CEA staff the 2009 World CES succeeded beyond all expectancies and that CEA should try to prohibit future attendance to 2009 attendance levels.”
Maybe the CEA’s satisfied face comes from its appraisal of the amount of companies that showed up exhibit. In the release, it offered the “more than 2,700 worldwide firms, including three hundred new exhibitors, ( who ) exposed a projected twenty thousand new technology products across 1.7 million net sq. feet of exhibit space this week ( and helped ) lead the way to industrial recovery.”. “You don’t feel folks pressing in on you so much Literally, you’re feeling less pressure from the crowd.”.
Cass, who’s been to CES 4 of the last 5 years, related that all of the giant corporations were here–the Panasonics, Sonys, and Toshibas of the world–but that for many smaller outfits, the stress this year may have been more on worth offer than on new bling features.
“It’s the opposite side of Moore’s Law,” Cass claimed. “This year, people are perhaps having a look at the fifty cents side, the economy side, of Moore’s Law, instead of the performance side.”. Others agree the stress during the year to come in the electronics business might well be on getting the most bang for buyers’ greenbacks instead of on the feature-laden products that used to be so prevalent at CES in past years. “Honestly, I believe ( customer spending on electronics ) is going to be on inexpensive things,” announced Jed Putterman, VP of products at Cloud Engines, “things folk can get price out of.”. To Jeremy Toeman–a specialist who was shepherding four different firms in CES’ Inventions Showcase at the Sands–the folks who wanted to be at CES, like shops and media, were there in force. “I don’t feel the show is truly ‘hit’ although folks say it is,” asserted Toeman. Indeed, in the Inventions Showcase–a special section of CES concentrating on outstanding engineering and design–the crowds were thick. And in truth, through CES, there were enormous numbers of folk. Countless thousands of folk add up, regardless of how massive a convention center they are spread out over, and whatever if the total population is less than during the past. But even Toeman announced that he thinks that where some firms visiting CES may have sent twenty folks in prior years, they might have sent just twelve or so this year. The genuine impact of the recession could well be felt next year he announced. “The giant boys will be spending less money” for next year’s CES, Toeman related.
“I might be inaccurate, but if I had to make a wager, that is the wager I’d take.”. Still, the gossip through town during CES was the convention was markedly smaller this year. If it was barkeepers chatting to patrons, cabbies speaking to passengers or newshounds chatting to one another, there looked to be unanimity the numbers, whilst still huge by the standards of other trade shows, were way down for CES.
But the result on the folks who rely on CES for their livelihood is tough to measure. For Darryl, the taxi driver, the show could not have come at a better time. He’d had such a gloomy Nov and December because of a broad general drop in visitors to Vegas that he’d had his wire shut off the week before CES. He claimed that business had been up at least fifty p.c in the show, and he was hoping that at the least, he’d be in a position to get his wire turned back on.
“I’m upbeat that this could be a sign of the following couple of months,” Darryl declared, “that the giant conventions are back, and so the businessmen are going to be coming here. If it isn’t a large convention, there’s still a ton of people coming here for business conferences.
Even if it is not standard, it’ll still be better than it’s been the last few month, and that’ll help me get back on my feet.”.