If you're a techie, a gadgeteer or an electronics junkie or simply someone who enjoys entertainment gear, CES is where the action is every January. It starts next week, and already, the ramp up is happening.
So next week, as the publicity machines crank up there will be lots of news surrounding what some will call "the next big thing," but in reality, it's not what's on the floor that's big. It's CES that is the "big thing" as it takes over the entire city of Las Vegas. It's where every brand fights for attention and where every attendee fights for a cab ride.
Already, rumors are floating around about this being the big show for Google (I disagree as I/O, and Next are where Google shows off). Apple never really does anything at CES except walk the floors, and Amazon, which has Re: Invent every November only needs to be there to support licensees.
The mother of all trade shows is for the mega brands and the want to be brands to generate "heat" around their newest products. That's why CES has morphed into so much more than just "consumer electronics" and is why FoodTech, SportsTech, AutoTech, GreenTech, SeniorTech and BizTech are all there. CES creates new markets, builds awareness and is where the exhibiting companies are selling in.
And CES is about just that. SELLING IN. It is not about selling through. CES is where new products are seen, where meetings are held and where orders get written.
In many cases, the hype around the new products is so early that consumers salivate for the next big thing. It used to be TV and Stereo gear, but now it's about smart devices, smart homes, smart kitchen appliances-seriously, does anyone want dumb anything?
This year marks the third year I'm skipping CES because, in this era of instant journalism, you can know all that's going on in more places more quickly by just using Google.
And that's why for Google, CES is really a big deal.