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International Consumer Electronics (CES) Trade Show 2020 Summary


The International Consumer Electronics Trade Show, or better known as ‘CES’, is the country’s premier trade show.

CES is a platform for creators and innovators to showcase the hottest new additions to their arsenals – everything from consumer gadgets to upcoming disruptive technology. It boasts of showcasing upwards of 4,400 exhibiting companies, including a range of manufacturers, developers, suppliers, and more.

The most recent event, CES 2020 took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada – and it was a resounding success.

Each year, CES is the go-to place for new companies to launch a new product and have extreme success in doing so at this show. There are amazing opportunities for start-ups to really get their name out front and center. A client of ours who launched their product at CES last year said the success from the 2019 show was beyond what they could imagine… but this year was even better!!

The Evolving Trade Show Booth Experience at CESCES is a trade show experience like no other. I’ve been a part of many trade shows working from day one of a booth install right through to getting to experience the live show floor, and I can say nothing has been like CES.

The whole basis of CES is getting to see the newest and best tech out there so it goes hand in hand. Booth designs are going back to the importance of face to face marketing, making the attendees feel important, and CES booths have taken that trend to a whole new level.

The most interesting part I’m seeing is how trade show booths are not only getting bigger, flashier, and “techier” across the board, but also how interactive they have become. In fact, some booths became full on rides and carnival sized games.

This trend of interactive and inviting booth spaces that I’ve seen is also starting to trickle over to many other more traditional trade shows. The first thing you will notice at these booths is a lot of movement and sound to grab your attention; just a few fancy graphics are not going to do the trick.

In order to stand out these booths have integrated plenty of movement from pre-programmed motion lighting to integrated and interactive monitors, touchscreens and video walls plus the almost theatre like surround sound for many. All of it is telling a story that the brand wants the trade show attendees to experience.

The show has expanded beyond the Las Vegas Convention Center and now takes up several other Conference Halls and Hotels down the strip of Las Vegas. But one thing that remains an obvious constant at each location is that companies are investing a lot of marketing dollars into this one show.

For those companies who have planned and designed their booths well, did the right pre-show and post-show marketing along with proper booth staff training, plus executed a consistent “theme/message”, it’s been well worth the investment for most.

Companies at CES 2020CES has traditionally enjoyed the attendance of the tech elite, companies like Samsung, LG, Dell, HTC, etc. are staples.

This year the buzz you’ve been hearing is true – Apple made an appearance.

Since Apple switched to their own in-house unveil events, they’ve been notably absent from CES. But for CES 2020, Apple took part in the ‘Chief Privacy Officer Roundtable: What Do Consumers Want?’ discussion. This talk featured global players like Facebook and Proctor and Gamble. This was a great gesture on Apple’s part – they showed users they take customer privacy very seriously.

Other exhibitors at CES 202 included Amazon, Samsung, Canon, LG, Lenovo, Microsoft, Sony, Nikon, and several others. While not all companies are planning to unveil a slew of new products, they’re making an appearance to collect user feedback and sit on important panels.

Featured exhibitors included companies like SecureData, LumiCharge, Vayyar, Bertrandt, Bosch, Haier, Roland, Sennheiser, Wicked Audio, etc.

CES 2020 Award WinnersCES picks out industry-leading innovations every year and hands out awards in several categories. These awards are given out on the basis of design, aesthetics, and engineering prowess. The CES ‘Best of Innovation’ awards are reserved for the best of the best – the best-designed products in their categories that are highly rated by a panel of expert judges. These awards are one of the best ways to show consumers that your products are well above par – and are worth the hefty price tag in some cases.

464 products won recognition this year, with 31 products clinching the Best of Innovation awards. Some of the big winners were Bosch, for in-vehicle safety and entertainment, Colgate Palmolive, for their Colgate ‘Plaqless Pro’ product, nothing in the ‘Smart Cities’ category, and Owl Labs, for their computer peripherals/ accessories and robotics product, ‘Meeting Owl Pro’ (among others).

These are some of the most interesting, cutting-edge products that went home with the colloquial blue ribbon in 2020.

  • Code Jumper
    Domain: Accessibility.
    Taking the cake for the accessibility category this year is Code Jumper, pioneered by the American Printing House for the Blind. While flashy consumer gadgets are fun to demo, technology has the potential to change several lives for the better. Code Jumper teaches blind children (even visually impaired) how to write computer programs. This groundbreaking assistive technology allows children with disabilities to learn employable skills in an inclusive setting.
  • Avast Omni
    Domain: Cybersecurity and personal privacy.
    If you’ve ever owned a PC, you’re probably familiar with Avast. Avast takes online security very seriously, and their clever slogan ‘Create an Internet of Safer Things’ embodies this mantra. Avast Omni offers a three-pronged approach to personal online privacy – home network security, on-the-go device security, and family protection controls. You can opt-in for a secure future through their mobile app and from the Avast Omni Hub, a small device that can be connected to your home router.
  • NextMind
    Domain: Virtual and augmented reality – wearable technologies.
    Wearable tech is breaking ground each day. As devices get more integrative (read invasive), several companies are realizing the full potential of this market. NextMind offers users seamless natural and real-time interactions across different platforms like desktops, mobiles, etc. The technology combines deep neural networks and neural signals from the brain to create a surrealistic connection of the human mind to the digital space.

The Best Selections of CES 2020The most prominent product categories showcased at CES include drones, entertainment, 3D printing, robotics, gaming, fitness, virtual reality, augmented reality, lifestyle, artificial intelligence, cloud services, computer hardware, etc. Some of the groundbreaking innovations announced at CES previously include Ultrabooks, 3D printers, wearable technologies, unmanned systems, and so many more.

CES 2020 had some show stealers. According to Wired Magazine, these were the clear winners of this year.

Samsung Galaxy ChromebookThe number of options out there for a potential laptop buyer is staggering. It’s not uncommon to stumble on ‘analysis paralysis’ while scrolling through Amazon’s ‘Laptop’ section. Thankfully, Samsung has a solution. Chromebooks are traditionally lightweight and snappy – they run only Android and Linux apps, but really, what else do you need? Running Google’s Chrome OS, this slim package offers specs like 4K touchscreens, a built-in stylus, 2 USB C ports, a micro-SD slot, 1 TB of SSD storage, and 16 GB of RAM. The massive SSD capacity makes the machine quick and responsive – and suitable for light office work. It’s the perfect package for the everyday user.

Jabra Elite Active 75tWe’re always on the lookout for a better version of our current earphones and headphones. Parker Hall thinks he might have just found the one. Jabra’s newest product, the Elite Active 75t is the best option for sporty users. Want a stable, solid pair of music dispensers that are comfortable? This might be what you’re looking for. With crisp sounding audio, the Elite Active 75t is completely waterproof. The headphones are modestly priced at around $200.

Vizio OLEDVizio unveiled its new flagship TV line this year at CES. These futuristic gizmos look like something that would be hanging on the walls of a spaceship in a sci-fi movie. The Vizio OLED sports a vibrant 4K screen and looks just as good as any of its high-end counterparts from competitors like Samsung and LG. OLED TVs are admittedly extremely expensive – Parker Hall of Wired thinks this model may just approach $1,000 making it significantly affordable. We’ll just have to wait till the price points are released.

AMD SmartShiftIt’s no secret that AMD is the world’s go-to when it comes to gaming processor innovation. They’re famous for developing faster, smaller, and sleeker chips and graphic cards every year. This year, however, AMD pioneered SmartShift, a technology that allows the CPU and GPU to communicate directly with each other – without requiring any operating systems or software to facilitate the transmissions. GPUs and CPUs enabled with SmartShift technology can also share power between them – resulting in a boost in efficiency, especially for gaming systems. This end-to-end optimization is possible because AMD manufactures its own processors and graphic cards. SmartShift has the potential to revolutionize how gaming laptops are designed going forward.

Segway Ninebot T60Segway has always had eye-catching offerings – everybody at some point in their life has wanted to own a futuristic Segway hoverboard. And it looks like they’re getting closer each year. Their newest offering, the Ninebot T60, is history’s first truly robotic scooter. Designed and built to serve scooter-share programs, the Ninebot T60 can be summoned by users with a click of a button! That’s right – equipped with Segway’s self-balancing tech, this sleek scooter can be controlled with an app. Users looking for a scooter on ridesharing apps can tap a few times and the Ninebot will ride itself to them (avoiding traffic and obstacles.

(Note: The statistics of CES 2020 are not available yet. The numbers on their official site are from the 2019 event.)

About the Author

Sandra Brianceau was an Account Executive and Exhibit Marketing Specialist at Skyline Greater Toronto Area.

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