I spent a few days at CES, the biggest trade show in tech - here's what it's like to attend the 53-year-old show for the first time
Connie Chen/Business Insider
- CES, now in its 53rd year, took place this year from January 7 through January 10, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV.
- I was just one of more than 170,000 people, including industry attendees, exhibitors, and media, on the ground at the most famous global conference for tech.
- Unlike many of my colleagues and fellow attendees who have been braving the show floors for years, I was a CES first-timer.
- It was as high-energy, fast-paced, and interesting as I expected from an industry event of its size and caliber. This is what I saw, learned, and wrote about during my week at CES.
Every industry has its can't-miss trade show. Health and wellness professionals have the Natural Products Expo. Outdoorspeople have Outdoor Retailer. But the undisputed king of trade shows - in tech and beyond - is CES.
CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show and the Consumer Technology Association puts it on every year. First held in 1967 with 250 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees, the show now draws more than 4,500 exhibitors and 170,000 attendees from more than 160 countries.
Anyone who works in anything remotely related to tech attends CES to see and try the latest innovations, network with fellow industry experts, and discuss the future of consumer tech.
This year, I attended CES for the first time ever, and after hearing from past attendees about the overwhelming size and pace of the show, I got on a flight from New York to Las Vegas with equal parts trepidation and excitement.
Tens of thousands of steps, a full stack of press materials and business cards stuffed in my bag, and a few empty packs of Emergen-C later, I've emerged from my first CES with a better understanding of the tech products to look forward to in 2020 - and why people come in from all over the world to get a first glimpse of them at CES.
Here's what it's like to go to CES, from a first-timer's perspective:
Subscribe to our newsletter.
Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.