In the Spotlight: Gary Shapiro
Dealerscope: Talk about your work in developing the Consumer Electronics Show into a flagship for the industry and broadening it overseas. In what other possible ways can the show grow? Where will you take it in the next five years?
Shapiro: Our focus is to make it the global show for innovation. We broadened the definition of what consumer electronics is, and have broadened its reach internationally. It is ‘the’ international event, and we have small CESes around the world.
The strategy has been multifold. Jack Wayman created a wonderful, wonderful thing and obviously, we couldn’t have grown the show unless the industry had grown, but part of our strategy in broadening it is that it now includes wireless, and automobiles, the content and entertainment communities, and Madison Avenue. We did so much to get to this point. Part of the strategy was to define the Show by the keynoters. Even though not that many people go to keynotes as a percentage of the show attendance, they help define the show.
We have 25 Tech Zones for emerging technologies, and we go after the smallest entrepreneurs and companies. We’re very quick and responsive. As soon as MacWorld was canceled, within three days we created iLounge, and now iLounge has 440 exhibitors, and is bigger than most trade shows in the country. With Eureka Park, we have 140 startups. And we’re really helping them in Washington in all sorts of different ways. We’re getting the reputation of being the ‘innovation association.’