What They’re Thinking: Jack Wayman
McCormick Place in Chicago (the planned venue for the first show) burned down right in front of my eyes in January 1967. I ran to NYC to book the Americana and Hilton hotels for the first Consumer Electronics Show that June. We only had 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, 200 exhibitors and 17,500 in attendance, mostly NARDA members. I talked Jules Steinberg into holding his NARDA show with CES for four years to give it its base of attendance. They made the show a success.
Now CES is at 1.9 million square feet, 150,000 attendees and 2,700 exhibitors!
At our first show, (Motorola CEO) Bob Galvin was my chairman, and at the end of the first day, Bob came in and said in that quiet voice of his, “Jaa-ack, I’m trying to demonstrate Quasar to a retailer, and these Japanese gentlemen keep pushing me aside to take photographs of the front of the television. Maybe we shouldn’t have cameras.”