There’s something indescribable about the Consumer Electronics Show.
If you enjoy technology, the CES is like the Superbowl of new products. It’s a crowded madhouse that’s packed with more than 170,000 attendees and features thousands of exhibitors spread out among various venus across Las Vegas. The show floor areas are filled with music, noise, announcements and constant group presentations designed to generate excitement and to bring traffic to a specific booth. This hustle and bustle environment provides an ambience of excitement to anyone who enjoys seeing the latest technologies up close and personal.
Back in days when I was broadcasting for NBC’s Today Show from the show floor, after my early morning TV appearances which would require me to be on the set by 3am Pacific time, I would attempt to walk every aisle of the show in order to find the products that I would be covering for the remainder of the year. Trust me, that was no easy task and it took my full Gadget Guru team to walk the miles of aisles in search of the products that I would have to make the determination of what was truly newsworthy. Needless to say, I had little sleep during CES week and was physically exhausted by the time I boarded the flight for the trip home.
These days, I can enjoy this show more than ever as instead of attempting to visit every corner of the show, I can simply focus on the areas that I personally find interesting. And these days, with the evolution of video production, a large crew lugging carts of heavy equipment is no longer needed to produce video content from the show as I can carry all I need in a satchel. That in itself is a result from technologies unveiled at past trade shows. In order to enjoy CES and savor in the technological marvels on display, for the 2016 show, I chose to visit only the booths that showcased the latest and greatest in consumer copters.
With all the hype surrounding CES it’s important to remember what CES is and what it isn’t. First and foremost, it’s a trade show and it’s designed to be the one place where manufacturers from around the world can setup booths to display their wares to current and potential dealers. This provides dealers an opportunity to see the manufacturer’s full line of products, to speak directly with the company’s management and in some cases sit down in the backroom meeting spaces and discuss the details of future business.
While most manufacturers display its full product lineups in attractive open areas, in many cases, the booth’s have private meeting rooms tucked in the corners where future generations of products are shown. This allows the manufacturers to gauge excitement from the select dealers and attempt to forecast how many units can be sold so the supply can meet future demand. Of course it provides the dealers insight into the direction of that specific manufacturer is headed and allows them to decide the level of financial resources to devote to specific manufacturers.
This is the bottom line of this show: All fun, games and cocktail parties aside, it’s about business…big business.
What CES is not is a consumer show. It’s not a place where products are sold to individuals. CES management does a respectable job screening the attendees to verify they have an actual connection to the electronics industry.
For the Press, it’s a wonderful show to attend as not only can you see a wide variety of new products in a single location, you have access to the upper management and more times than not, they are happy to provide insight and grant meetings and interviews.
While I have other videos posted from this show, I thought it would be interesting to speak with a respected copter dealer to see what he found interesting at this year’s CES. After all, these are the folks who the manufacturers are truly targeting.
In this video, you’ll meet Kerry Garrison of Multicopter Warehouse and he was quite open on his opinions of what’s hot and what’s not at this year’s show.