With a 22 percent drop in attendance, down to about 110,000 from last year’s 141,000, CES was a smaller show than in past years. But with 2,700 companies, including 300 new exhibitors, displaying more than 22,000 products, “small” is a relative term.
As retailers and manufacturers struggled with a dismal fourth quarter and continue to experience job losses and a sinking economy throughout the first quarter, they are right in worrying that smaller crowds on the show floor will translate to fewer customers on retail sales floor. That will be the reality for at least the next 18 months.
But, despite the lower attendance, CES 2009 was no less important than past shows. Enough product and business trends were introduced or highlighted to help retailers of all sizes weather the tough business climate ahead. Here are some that are worth watching.