Thursday, January 7, 2010

Consumer Electronic Show Is Back in Vegas... And More Business Is on the Way in 2010?

Is this the start of something good?

The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show isn’t exactly like old times, but the Las Vegas tourism industry has geared up for it with high hopes.

The kickoff event of the city’s 2010 convention calendar is expected to be attended by some 110,000 people — an increase from earlier projections of 100,000 but slightly behind the 111,000 last year.

The event, produced by the Washington-based Consumer Electronics Association, brings the newest, flashiest and glitziest gadgets to a four-day showcase at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Renaissance Hotel and the Venetian’s Tower Suites.

Other hotels planned spin-off activities and special gatherings to accommodate what annually is one of Las Vegas’ largest trade shows.

And CES won't be the only gig in town this week... Look who's coming along with it!

It seems like a marriage that could only happen in Vegas: the overlapping conventions of the Consumer Electronics Show and the Adult Entertainment Expo.

The two groups of conventioneers couldn’t be any more different in appearance, but for one week in January, their worlds collide. Rubbing elbows in the hallways of the Venetian this week are tech geeks with their smartphones and laptops and scantily clad women with their own toys in hand. [...]

So the Adult Video Network, sponsor of the adult expo, keeps scheduling its event for the same time frame as CES — for an annual rendezvous in Las Vegas, so it can get as much money as it can off its former live-in companion.

More than 100,000 people attended the technology show, and most are men. Apparently, a lot of the geeky are a little freaky. According to a recent survey, 42 percent of adult expo attendance comes from CES, Devlin says. Last year’s adult expo lured more than 20,000 fans and conventioneers, organizers said.

“Adult entertainment fans come in all varieties,” Devlin notes.

Only in Vegas, baby.

And it looks like this may only be the start to a better 2010. Remember in October when Las Vegas Sands confounded us by sounding so upbeat about 2010 while simultaneously reporting its beating taken in 2009? And remember when MGM Mirage started following Harrah's lead in courting conventions and convention-goers more aggressively? Oh, and remember all the events going on during what was supposed to be a "quiet" December?

Well, it may finally be starting to pay off... Even if it means we "steal" convention business away from places like San Diego and Chicago with less capacity and more expensive lodging.

And at this point, we need all the business we can get if Vegas plans to recover in 2010. We need whatever we can find, and hopefully all this aggressive pursuit of conventions will be paying off for Las Vegas... Now excuse me while I check out that new 3-D TV with high-speed internet at CES. :-p

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