The background stories of most trade shows typically involve too much walking, too much drinking, and too much hyping. And there’s plenty of that to go around here at CEDIA. But one of the good parts of being in the custom installation industry is that, for the most part, the people involved are usually decent, good people. It didn’t take long for me to discover that sometimes forgotten fact on Thursday when I reached down to find my phone not snuggled close to my hip in its holster. After a brief period of panic during which several people heard me cry for my mommy, I ran into friend and past HT Mag contributor, David Birch Jones, who explained that there was such a thing as calling your own phone to see if anyone who might have found it would answer. (I was dumbfounded at the concept!) It didn’t take more than two rings before CEDIA Samaritan, Andrew Bransby of MD Central Vacuums (www.builtinvacuum.com), answered to say that he had indeed found it and was holding it safe at the MD Central Vacuums booth (right across from LG). Thanks, Andrew, you’re a lifesaver!
The last day of the CEDIA EXPO is in many ways the best. Not so much from the fact that you know you'll be going home soon - although that's certainly part of it - but more from the lack of any scheduled press conferences and formal meetings. Sure, some diehards set up meeting times until the bitter end, but I prefer to leave the final day for browsing, wandering, and stopping by the booths I missed during the previous two days.
Two things are different about this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas: the weather is nicer; and there's even more square footage - and plenty more people covering those square feet with their own feet - to walk through. But all grumbling and protestations aside, no matter what day of the Show it is, you can always find at least two cool things that make you glad you made the trip. Here are my first two.
The official opening day of CES brings more announcements - and more gawking attendees to fight your way through. Geoffrey Morrison, Home Theater Magazine's Video Editor, more than once voiced his desire for a cattle prod. Fortunately for everyone concerned, none of the exhibitors were displaying cattle prods although a quick trip through the Las Vegas Convention Center aisles will take you past vendors showing everything from telescopes to hand-held electronic Bible navigators to flying discs with LED lights inside. It's such a shame all we get to cover is home theater gear...
Something is funny in Las Vegas today, and I don't mean the Penn & Teller show. Just as CES is ready to open for another delightful day, the light rain - rather unusual for this dry, desert town - begins turning into snow (really unusual for around here). Veteran CES-goers scratch their heads in amazement as they run from the taxi drop off area to the doors of the Convention Center. It's hard to remember the last time it snowed in Las Vegas during CES. It was a surprising, albeit wet, beginning to a day full of much nicer surprises.
The final day of CES always brings a little sadness with it - sadness that you didn't bring more comfortable shoes. Yet, when all is considered, CES is still one of the most exciting times for consumer electronics geeks (and the Consumer Electronics Association counted over 140,000 of them at the Show). Since all the press conferences and nearly all of the scheduled meetings are over, it's a great day to wander the 1.5 million square feet of the show floor and catch up on all the things you missed (and find some nice surprises, too).