In the dog eat dog world of the CE business, margins are low and money – especially in this economy – is tight. That’s why a number of smaller vendors, including some we talked to in Vegas, took rooms in local hotels or ran “peripheral” events in other venues. The Daily Tech reports that some of those vendors have been ousted by the hotels themselves after the CEA, the organization that runs CES, convinced management to force them out.
Why? Because the CEA requires payments of $100,000 and up to exhibit at CES and their inability to pay for formal space at the show or in one of the show’s official hotel spaces is apparently an affront to the gadget gods. While the CEA puts on a nice show, it is my opinion that trade shows are dinosaurs and the extortionist tactics used by CEA to convince Las Vegas hotel to do things like this is an affront to capitalism and whatever else is good and wholesome about a massive trade show in a resort city in the middle of the desert.
In the end, CES is place where CE companies troll for customers. If the CEA wants to increase barriers to entry to their perceived value-add proposition, more power to them. Just don’t expect vendors to play nice next year in this game of cat and mouse.
If you’ve been booted, let us know. We’d love to hear your story.