I flew out to Las Vegas once again this year for the annual CES show! CES is of course the biggest consumer electronics show of the year with over 135,000 attendees from all over the world.
As usual we produced a number of dispatch videos (four of them!) along with a special dispatch covering some enterprise products from our sponsor, SK. While it’s always fun to attend these shows the energy of CES pre-pandemic has yet to return in the post-pandemic era.
Organizers canceled the 2021 show due to health concerns and after so many 2020 attendees fell ill with what was likely early COVID. Many exhibitors canceled their plans at the last minute in 2022 due to the virus. The 2023 show was a bit of a return to normalcy but with a reduced footprint. This year felt a lot like last year. Yes, there were a few of the larger exhibitions but the show didn’t have the same buzz and energy as the pre-pandemic years.
Part of the problem is that a lot of focus is now on artificial intelligence and less on new hardware ideas. So many of the exhibits we walked past in the “Eureka Park” startup exhibition area were just screens demoing some AI app vs. something more tangible.
As a “commodity” YouTuber my videos largely succeed or fail based on what general awareness and interest audiences have about an event or product. The 2019 and 2020 shows were the most exciting ones I attended and that was reflected in the view counts we saw on my reporting.
The lack of pizzazz this year carried over to the performance of the videos I uploaded. My first dispatch did the best as we uploaded it the night before the show officially opened. But the buzz among audiences dropped quickly after that with the second dispatch only garnering a third of the views of the first. The third dispatch only received half the views of the second. The fourth one has just published but so far it looks like audiences have moved on and this one will be the poorest performer of the bunch.
So will I return next year? Most likely yes if we can find a sponsor. But sadly unless the CES organizers and exhibitors make a major push to revitalize the energy of past shows I fear we may be seeing a decline. Perhaps major trade shows like this are becoming a thing of the past?