Las Vegas' largest annual convention, which attracts techies and celebrities from around the world, opens this week on and around the Strip.
The International Consumer Electronics Show trade show opens its doors Tuesday, although several activities began Sunday. It is sponsored by the Washington-based Consumer Electronics Association, a 2,000-member organization that supports the $206 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry.
An estimated 155,000 people are expected for the four-day exhibition of gadgetry. They'll gather to find out about the latest in electronics and hear renowned developers talk about the industry’s next killer apps. Several big-name celebrities will make appearances, too.
The show isn’t open to the public.
About 3,000 companies are expected to exhibit products and goods. The show spans 1.85 million square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as ballrooms at the Venetian and LVH, and hospitality suites in the Renaissance. Another convention venue, Mandalay Bay, hosted preview events over the weekend.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimates the convention will have a $197 million nongaming economic impact on Southern Nevada.
CES traditionally is Southern Nevada’s largest annual convention, and the CEA says it is North America’s largest technology event.
The expansion of mobile and wireless technologies is expected to be a central theme this year. Past shows have debuted the videocassette recorder, the compact disc and a series of Windows operating systems.
The 2013 show will mark the first time in 15 years that a Microsoft Corp. executive has not kicked off the event. For years, the software company’s founder, Bill Gates, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivered preshow addresses in presentations that featured celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest, Shaquille O’Neal, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.
This year, Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Inc., will deliver the pre-show keynote. He'll speak about wireless technology. Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA, will deliver a state-of-the-industry message Tuesday. The same day, Panasonic Corporation President Kazuhiro Tsuga will give the 2013 CES Opening Keynote Address.
Former President Bill Clinton is rumored to be speaking Wednesday during a Samsung Electronics keynote.
Several companies take advantage of the CES stage to draw attention to their products with celebrity appearances.
This year, Maroon 5 will take the stage during the Jacobs keynote, entertainers will.i.am, Travis Barker and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will endorse products, and television personalities LL Cool J and Dr. Oz have scheduled appearances.
Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington will moderate a discussion on digital health innovations, and New York Jets quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is scheduled to appear at a product launch for SOUL Electronics.
Las Vegas room rates for the week also have exploded, as happens every year during the convention. Room rates for the week often spike as high as five times the normal rate.
Consider: the rate at Aria for a room normally priced $168 a night was going for $899 during CES; a $299 Wynn Las Vegas room leaped to $849; a $109 Caesars Palace room jumped to $779; a $33 Circus Circus room hit $202; and a $20 Gold Spike room spiked to $65.