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If you cannot make it to the show

By Jean-Claude Elias - Jan 11,2018 - Last updated at Jan 11,2018

Las Vegas’ celebrated annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is on this week, from January 9 to 12. The mega high-tech exhibition is not only the largest in the world but also the most spectacular. According to information found on various websites, innovations will be aplenty there, as usual, from LG’s 65-inch OLED screen that you can literally roll up and store away, to the latest drones, laptops that rival servers in terms of processing speed, 3D touch screens, blood sugar testing with a smartphone and a small add-on accessory (for diabetes), and a few surprises that are still to discover — that is if you are lucky to be there. But what if you can’t make it to Las Vegas?

Whereas nothing will ever beat the pleasure, the impact and the realism of a live, on-site experience, where you can physically touch the device and even smell it, not forgetting interacting with it and with exhibitors, getting the info on the Internet, even if a few days after the show, constitutes a more than acceptable replacement solution. Especially when you don’t have the choice simply because you cannot afford a 4-day trip to Las Vegas, which is the case of the vast majority of us.

Actually discovering and experimenting with new high-tech on the Internet has advantages that even the best live show won’t be able to bring you. On the web you take your time, all the time in the world, and you watch the images and the videos over and over, at your leisure, any time you like.

Naturally, the ideal case would be to be able to attend a show and then to browse the info on the Internet!

Still, the cost of setting up technology shows has become prohibitive and overall attendance has been regularly declining over the years. In the world very few tech shows are still taking place. Dubai’s Gitex and Hannover’s (Germany) CeBit, along with Las Vegas’ CES, are the few shows still going strong — all things considered. Gitex takes place during the last quarter of the year and CeBit in June. Gitex claims an average 150,000 visitors per year, whereas CeBit made it with 500,000 visitors in 2004, dropping down to 200,000 last year.

In 2017 CES welcomed 185,000 visitors. Interestingly, the impact of CES-2017 on the web was the following: “Views of CES Snapchat Live Story: 133.9 million. Views of official CES videos on Twitter: 4.3 million. Images shared on Instagram at CES that included the official hashtag #CES2017: 39,000” (information provided by the CES organisers). These figures alone tell a lot about the importance of the web, in parallel to, or after the show.

In Jordan the scale of things has made it virtually impossible for any party to organise a technology show that would attract enough visitors to make it feasible financially speaking. For in the end organisers are not supposed to lose money with the event. Before 2005, the Jordan Computer Society used to set interesting computer shows on a regular annual basis. Economics in general and the overwhelming use of the Internet to search for information on technology in particular have virtually killed local tech shows. Only the big, international events have so far survived.

 

If you can’t make it to the real show in Dubai, Las Vegas or Hannover, or if there’s none in your country, take heart, the Internet will still provide 90 per cent of the experience, and even will bring you its own little “plus” sometime.

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