The Consumer Electronics Association will cap attendance at the 2016 International CES.
That’s according to CEA President/CEO Gary Shapiro, who announced changes today.
Verified attendance by Veris Consulting pegs attendance for the show this January at 176,676, according to the association. More than 3,600 exhibitors filled in excess of 2.23 million net square feet of exhibit space.
Attendance in the previous year surpassed 160,000 and included 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space, Radio World reported.
Some 6,952 media and industry analysts attended the show this past January, and there were 703,602 mentions of #CES2015, according to CEA.
The growth this year has the association concerned about overcapacity so it plans to tighten registration criteria and institute a new fee structure when registration opens for CES2016 on July 8. The cap is “to ensure a great experience for attendees,” Shapiro tweeted.
The plan is to keep attendance at close to 2015 levels. “With the growth of the consumer technology industry and the parallel growth of the International CES comes an increase in the qualified registrant base for our show. While these individuals are qualified industry professionals, we are reaching space capacity and simply can’t accommodate every qualified individual to our show,” stated Karen Chupka, CEA senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy.
Enhanced credentialing procedures will ensure qualified attendees can conduct their business at the show, and yet also help CEA “improve some of the logistical and operational” aspects of hosting the show, she added, noting the average CES attendee has 33 business meetings at the show.
Those new to the show or those who haven’t attended within the past two years will need to adhere to the new credentialing criteria; those who’ve attended the 2014 or 2015 shows will not.
Credentialing basically involves being able to verify employment and industry affiliation. CEA is implementing a $100 advanced fee for all those who register when registration opens in July. Fees increase to $300 as of Dec. 21 to encourage earlier registration, and allow CEA more time to verify credentials.
The 2016 International CES is set for Jan. 6–9 in Las Vegas.
Chupka says they won’t turn away qualified attendees at the door, and will refine the new processes “as necessary during registration in an effort to stay within our target audience.”
CEA intends to place the full attendance audit online in June.