Tens of thousands of industry professionals will descend on Las Vegas this January for the first full in-person consumer electronics show in three years.
After an all-virtual show in 2021 and a scaled-down version last January, organizers expect this iteration of the tech industry’s biggest trade show to be a return to form, with a footprint at least 70% larger than last year’s show, which drew 45,000 people. and more than 3,000 exhibitors and 2.1 million square feet of exhibit space.
The program of the event will also, for the first time, broadly follow the overarching theme – “human security for all” – in collaboration with the United Nations.
Below are some of the trends that could shape this year’s show.
Health and transportation technology on the rise
The show’s bread and butter is, of course, its futuristic gadgetry, which in recent years has included an ever-increasing number of electric cars, medical devices and various smart appliances. Those trends are expected to continue this year with an even wider range of mobile and transportation devices — including a demonstration of an actual flying car — and a health-tech industry overwhelmed by a pandemic-induced surge in demand, said Kinsey Fabrizio, senior vice president. CES membership and sales to the Consumer Technology Association, the trade group that runs CES.
Even before the pandemic, the CTA was making a concerted effort to further lean on health technologies such as remote monitoring, telemedicine and wearables, a trend that the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated.
“Key leaders in healthcare will be at CES this year,” said Fabrizio. “Moderna will be at CES – their CEO will be speaking – Teladoc will be at CES for the first time ever.”
While fitness technology and electric vehicles are not natural destinations for marketers, new platforms such as in-car entertainment systems or home exercise programming could provide sponsorship opportunities.
Metaverse and NFT will appear throughout the exhibition area
Virtual reality and augmented reality devices will no doubt play a big role as well with talk of the metaverse seeping into every part of the show floor this year.
Beyond the actual hardware, organizers say the show will lean heavily on all things meta and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), despite the recent turmoil in cryptocurrency markets that has some executives wary of anything web3 , an umbrella term for a technology that proponents say will represent a new version of the Internet.
“Metaverse and web3 is a new topic for us,” said Fabrizio. “This is just going to spread all over the show floor. Every sector of CES and the tech industry is talking about it.”
But the recent bankruptcy of FTX and the subsequent crash of cryptocurrency markets could cast a shadow over this part of the event, despite the controversy having little effect on technologies like the metaverse, according to Kassan. NFTs were also experiencing a slump in sales for several months prior to the FTX crash as their initial wave of hype appeared to be winding down.
“Marketers seem to be conflating the FTX of it all with blockchain and NFT right now. People kind of put it all together, like, ‘Oh, that’s all of it.’ And of course I don’t think that’s the case,” Kassan said. “That will be a distraction from the growth of that space, at least for the time being.”
Retail media networks will have a greater presence
While show-goers typically come to CES with an eye toward the future and a chance to glimpse technology that could impact the world in a few years, the looming economic uncertainty in the new year may also prompt budget-conscious marketers to look for practical technologies that may perform better in the short term. serves the final result.
“In a way, 2022 was about escapism … trying to find a new playground where we can all play,” said Elav Horwitz, McCann Worldgroup’s senior director of global innovation and creative partnerships. “I think CES 2023 will be more about being realistic and realistic.”
At the top of that list are retail media networks, which are poised to have bigger showings in the advertising and media-focused C-Space this year. Walmart will have a much bigger presence at this year’s show as it looks to strengthen its Walmart Connect advertising arm, as well as Amazon Ads.
“The big area of interest is this explosion in retail media,” said Michael Kassan, CEO of MediaLink, a consultancy known for its heavy presence at CES. “The predictions that 12% of media will be retail media will be spent by Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Target and all the other retailers who rightly see this as an area of massive potential growth.”
Economic uncertainty could limit attendance
Experts say an expected drop in the first quarter of next year could also dampen attendance as travel budgets are likely to be limited in the first week after the holiday. This could lead to a more muted presence in some industries that are particularly hard hit by economic shocks, such as advertising.
“I think people are looking at it and saying, ‘I’m going to have more choice in the travel that I choose, and a lot of companies, especially in our industry, not only are hiring freezes, but travel freezes for the last half of this year, and I think it probably carries over a little bit as well,” Kassan said.
Stay ahead of the streaming landscape
As the connected TV industry faces change this year with major streamers shifting their strategies, Netflix will emerge as a major advertiser for the first time as the service attempts to launch its new ad-supported tier with spoken word slots in C-Space. Roku’s advertising arm, Samsung and other device makers will also have a big show at the show, as they do.
Marketers will be looking for answers on how to stay ahead of streaming services’ latest moves in ad-supported video, such as Disney Plus launching its own ad-based option, Kassan said. “Everyone will be watching the tea leaves and understanding how brands will truly survive and thrive in streaming in a connected TV world.”
‘Human Security’ will shape the show
Many of the activations and exhibitions hosted by visiting brands this year will also have a sustainability or social good theme that aligns with the theme of the event. LG Electronics, a major player at the fair each year, will highlight its sustainability goals with an exhibit called “Better Life for All,” and Samsung will present its vision of “sustainable innovation.”
“I found that sustainability is going to be big this year,” Horwitz said. “I hope the innovations we see this year will be more practical, humanized and focused on doing good in the world.”