CTA’s Shapiro: Industry Riding into 2018 CES after ‘A Good Year’
In a presentation that launched the official run-up to CES 2018, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) CEO and President Gary Shapiro said the U.S. consumer technology industry has had “a good year,” and credited the Trump Administration’s overall pro-business stance with helping to set a mood for job creation.
Shapiro said in remarks delivered during a pre-CES presentation in New York City last week that “40 or our companies have announced major job creation” initiatives. As for CTA’s drive to put technology front and center with the Administration, “we’re pushing that innovation is important and will drive the economy. It should be our national strategy,” he said.
Shapiro, in describing the upcoming annual Las Vegas-held trade fest, which runs a few days later into the new year this year than usual (Jan. 9-12), pointed to the show’s addition of 650 first-time exhibitors and to the trending international tenor of the show; of the 170,000 attendees in 2017, CES attracted 60,000 attendees from 158 countries other than the U.S.
He cited several topic focuses for the 2018 exhibition, including a first-time zone-in on Smart Cities, whose development, he noted, would be reliant on connectivity and improved infrastructure. CTA, he said, projects that 88 “smart cities” would be developed worldwide by 2025.
Focus at the show is also being trained on topics including 5G, sensors, transportation and network infrastructure.
Other highlights cited by Shapiro: a High-Tech Retailing Summit featuring a Retail Innovation Lounge to help dealers adjust to changing consumer buying habits; a Digital Money Forum touching on the digital payments trend; and a Design & Source Marketplace which will bundle around 700 design, sourcing and packaging companies in one place.
Startup and entrepreneurial companies are also being given their due, Shapiro said, in the Eureka Park space, with the number of exhibitors having grown from 600 in 2017 to 800 for 2018.
Karen Chupka, CTA’s senior vice president, CES and corporate business strategy, provided further show preview highlights, citing a Turner-sponsored CES Sports Zone that would address the Esports and sports industries, and tech advancements impacting sports, such as the development of smart arenas and the immersive fan experience, as topics.
Noel Lee, head monster of Monster, which perennially sponsors a CES concert program, was on hand at the pre-show conference, and he revealed that the 2018 event would be headlined by Joe Perry, founding member and principal songwriter of the rock-and-roll band Aerosmith. The concert, which follows Monster’s retailer awards program, will take place at the Brooklyn Bowl on Jan. 10.