If you’re going to CES in two weeks, or are visiting sites like us here at CrunchGear to get up-to-the-minute news, know this: the show will absolutely suck. That’s what the Los Angeles Times says, at least.
The recession. The “r word” is causing companies left and right to scale back their CES 2009 presence. Fewer companies reps will be there on-site to help stressed out reporters figure out what’s what; fewer booths will be set up. Overall attendance is expected to be down 8 percent from CES 2008.
The consumer electronics industry as a whole is only expected to grow by 0.1 percent Q4 2008.
• Belkin will send less employees to Las Vegas, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars
• Panasonic will focus on “pragmatic” on-site displays, ie, no dog and pony shows to promote this year’s OH MY LORD FLAT HDTV
• Cisco won’t even be on the show floor, but will merely hold off-site meetings
Basically, CES, an aggravatingly stressful event under the best of circumstances, won’t be nearly as “fun” as it’s been in the past.
Despite all that, many of us will be attending the show, trying to make sense of it all for y’all, even if there’s less free beer to go around.