January 5, 2016
Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water, reads the advice on the CES media advisory. Navigating the record 2.4 million square feet, the equivalent of 50 football fields, is an endurance event. Much like a marathon, CES is best managed with a plan and a pace. The first 36 hours of the conference are filled with media briefings and product announcements that will add important detail to the geographic layout. Today, ETCentric provides you with a general guide of where to find key exhibits.
CES fills three main event areas: the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Convention Center and the Aria. CES has actually named these exhibit clusters Tech East, Tech West and Tech South.
Generally speaking, the Convention Center exhibits more hardware and manufacturers. The Sands has its share of hardware but it is really more focused on software and services. Over at the Aria, you will find a greater orientation towards content, with its exhibit and conference area dubbed The C-Suite.
Your starting point at CES will depend upon your interest. Given that time is a factor and there is likely more ground to cover than time will permit, it is important to prioritize your destinations.
The North Hall now ranks as one of the world’s largest automobile shows, with over 200,000 square feet of automotive exhibits. GM, Ford, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and many others feature not just their latest models but their visions for future mobility.
Central Hall is home to all of the major traditional CE companies. When you think of CES across its past 49 years, the exhibits and exhibitors in Central Hall have been a mainstay. For content companies, Central Hall is the place to see Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung, LG and the host of Chinese companies. Look for a wide array of 4K and UHD displays, many of which will be priced well within average consumer reach. Smartphones and cameras are also Central Hall regulars, along with tech companies such as Intel, Qualccomm, Dolby and Technicolor.
The two floors of the South Hall are vast. Head downstairs to see virtual reality, augmented reality and drones. Upstairs has extensive digital health, fitness and wearable tech among its exhibitors.
Tech West, which occupies the Sands Convention Center and the Venetian/Palazzo meeting rooms, features a vast number of startups. There will be over 500 startups in Eureka Park. While not every startup will become the next billion-dollar powerhouse, the company that is now Samsung’s mobile pay system was a Eureka Park exhibitor just a year ago. If high end audio is of interest, Venetian hospitality suites are where you will find the state of the art.
Head over to the Aria for content and ad-tech. This area was inaugurated last year and already attracts the leaders in media, entertainment and marketing. The C-Suite area is as much about speakers and conference activity as it is exhibits.
CTA has posted some helpful maps on its CES site. ETC will update its floor guide as products are announced and as we begin to see what is actually on the floor and in these booths.
CES 2016 Schedule: Where to Watch the Biggest Keynote Live Streams, The Verge, 1/4/16