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CEA ISO Tech Enthusiasts

New membership category opens association to consumers

The Consumer Electronics Association is expanding its membership to include a special category of consumers.

The association has added what it’s calling a “tech enthusiast” membership category.

At his keynote opening the Consumer Electronics Show in January, I remember hearing CEA President/CEO Gary Shapiro describing this membership category as one made up of early adopters, or “your best customers” he told the crowd of manufacturers and retailers.

This week, he said: “Our entire industry will benefit from this new offering as our Tech Enthusiasts’ expertise, thoughts and opinions will help inform everything from product offerings to public policy efforts.”

The trade group says these new members will receive benefits such as online discounts from tech companies, beta testing opportunities and insider industry information on tech trends.

Aside from access to a members-only website, and CEA material, one of the perks of joining is a special “one-time-only” chance to attend the CES on the last day the show floor is open for the first 1,000 registered CEA tech enthusiast members. That last item is a big deal, and a good idea for any show, as the last day on an exhibit floor becomes a time for vendors to talk to each other as most attendees have started travelling home.

Now, if Gary would just stop calling radio a “buggy whip” industry over the issue of mandating FM chips in cellphones, maybe some broadcast engineers would sign up.