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Las Vegas 2002

Consumer Electronic Show 2002 (CES)

THE Expo


Final Thoughts...


  Instead of the usual photos and details, i would like to take this time to give some overall impressions and controversy that transpired during the 2002 Las Vegas shows. While the high point for me was the Classic Records announcement concerning their Vanguard and Blue Note series, low points are the usual "politics" one suffers through when being a press member simply trying to cover a show. Of course it always brings delight to hear personal triumphs from those within the industry as well.

The best thing in life are the wondrous joys. Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio has been fruitful and multiplied! Jeff's lovely wife gave birth and they now have a third member to the Joseph family! Jeff, being the proud father and a cool techno-savvy dude, proudly showed off some cute movie files of Joseph Jr. on his Apple laptop computer. My congratulations to the Joseph family! In more good news concerning the show, attendance was down overall at both shows it seems. While you may think this is a bad thing, show exhibitors were saying that the quality of those who attended were very high. Therefore the usual "time wasters" and "tire kickers" did not take up valued resources during this ever busy show. In fact on the last day most people have sore throats and have "lost" their voice due to many conversations and presentations.

While we all are well aware of the September 11th events and how it has caused some business' financial turmoil, the vibe of both Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the The Home Entertainment Expo (THE Expo) were very up beat. Virtually everyone i met appeared happy and optimistic. The worries of last year's format wars (DVD-Audio and SACD) now only seem like a bad memory. Not that either format is bad mind you, just that manufactures within the high-end are now more settled in the reality of the true future of either format. Of course all was not trouble free bliss here in the land of Lost Wages...

As many of your know, THE Expo is an offshoot high-end show and not part of the CES. Why would one want to have anther show during the same time as the CES. Because many high-end manufactures were simply tired of CES' high prices, policies, and politics. The offshoot show rates were around 60% of those charged by the CES in previous years. As the CES was hoping to get back some of the high-end companies, this year they drastically lowered their rates while also offering free food and other benefits unlike they have ever done in the past. Thank goodness for America and capitalists as competition does indeed seem to work at making the higher priced competitor work harder to get market share.

While anyone hoping to begin their very own audio show has an uphill climb from the start, THE Expo was fighting a mountain this year. With only weeks away from the 2002 Las Vegas show, THE Expo changed venues from the Rio to the Tuscany! Manufactures who advertised their room number in print magazines now found out that not only the room number they advertised in print was wrong, so was the venue! Worse still, those who sent their products to the Rio had to get said items to the Tuscany hotel.

As the Tuscany was closer to the CES' Alexis Park high-end show, this new venue seemed to make more sense... but all is not well in Lotus land. The Tuscany is, literally, a brand new hotel. In fact it is so new that construction was happening within some exhibitor's room up to the first day of the event! Therefore various kinks and gremlins would pop up from time to time. Regardless, the rooms at the Tuscany were on average much larger than any previous Las Vegas show no matter if it was conducted by the CES or THE Expo (previously known as THE Show).

Since the Tuscany was about a mile from the CES' Alexis Park, THE Expo provided buses that would pick up and drop attendees off at each hotel. In the great wisdom of CES, they decided in the middle of the Las Vegas events to forbid THE Expo buses from entering the CES' Alexis Park property. Therefore a new bus stop had to be made a block away. Of course all was not well with the CES either.

There were the usual complaints of lost products, exorbitant product delivery fees and the strange way exhibitor rooms are laid out within the Alexis Park hotel venue. In fact one must wonder if the Alexis Park is a legal venue as it has no handicapped facilities for those who desire to see exhibitors that are located on the second floor of various buildings (there are no elevators). You see, the Alexis Park and THE Expo use hotels that consists of many separate buildings. As such, to visit exhibitor rooms within a show one will need to go from building to building. While the Tuscany has elevators for those wishing to go to the second (or third) floor, the CES has no such facilities. Therefore someone who is wheelchair bound can not visit CES' second floor show rooms. In fact the Press room was on the second floor so any member of the press who can not transverse a flight of steps is seemingly left out in the cold. While the CES' Alexis Park appear to have more than enough hotel rooms to have all exhibitors on the first floor in an organized manner, as usual the rooms appeared to be decided upon by someone with darts and a map of the hotel venue. If anyone from the CES is reading this, please consider having all exhibitors on the first floor and also in an organized manner and not all spread out. Thank you.

Regardless of all the various problems, the 2002 Las Vegas shows were a great success. Almost all across the board everyone appeared to have had a great time. This includes exhibitors and attendees alike. Good music was heard in many rooms while at the end of a day there were many smiles... yet tired feet and hurting backs from all the walking on hard surfaces. We all hope 2002 will indeed be a wonderful year and a much needed improvement to the roller coaster year of 2001.



Click here to see last year's show coverage.













































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