Organizers of the Consumer Electronics Show reported the official, audit-verified attendance for the 2009 CES on Thursday and the results weren’t pretty.
Attendance was 113,085, down 20% from a year earlier because of the global recession, for the Jan. 8-11 show in Las Vegas. That’s the smallest attendance for the annual show since 2002, when 99,961 attended after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Despite the smaller attendance, CES is still the world’s largest annual tradeshow for consumer technology and the largest tradeshow of any kind in the U.S.
The number of exhibitors at the show dipped 10% to 2,700. The exhibit space was 8% smaller at 1.7 million net square feet.
One area where the CES grew was in media attendance. The show’s organizer, the Consumer Electronics Association, says “more than 4,500” journalists were at the 2009 show. That’s up from the “4,000 plus” reported for the 2008 show.
The 2010 International CES is scheduled for Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas.
In previous years, CES had to compete for media attention with Macworld in San Francisco. Not so in 2010.
Faced with putting on its first Macworld without Apple’s participation, show organizer IDG delayed the tradeshow a month to Feb. 9-13. (It was originally scheduled for Jan. 4-8, overlapping with CES.)
Looking to put the hurt on Macworld, CES is planning a new pavilion devoted to Apple products at the 2010 show.
Announced shortly after this year’s show, the iLounge Pavilion was originally floored with 4,000 net square feet of exhibit space. When that sold out quickly, organizers increased the space to 18,000 square feet within a couple of weeks.
Just last week, the CEA announced that the iLounge Pavilion was expanding to 25,000 square feet. The iLounge Pavilion will feature accessories and applications for Apple’s iPod, iPhone and Macintosh computers.