CES 2009 – Attendance down 22% on last year, down 15% on expectations

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ces-2009-empty.jpgLast week’s International Consumer Electronics Show drew just 110,000 visitors – the lowest turnout in many years. Last year, the show admitted 141,000 people and CES had predicted that 130,000 people would attend, but both of those figures proved unattainable, likely due to the state of the world’s economy.

Even for those who showed up, the show proved disappointing. Although wireless power generation was showed off, and Palm unveiled its most exciting product in years, the show was underwhelming. All the companies started their press conferences with comments on the global economy and talked about how green they are. Then they just talked about networkng as much of their AV as possible.

Are big technology shows sustainable in the long term? With Apple pulling out of Macworld, perhaps they’re not. If large companies pull out, then attendance dwindles, and it’s no longer worth it for the smaller companies, which provide the bulk of the cash to run the show. Unless the economy takes a sharp upward turn this year, 2010 could be a very interesting time for the big expos.

(via VentureBeat)

For more CES shenanigans, see through our eyes at the CES index megapost.

Duncan Geere

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