As you're reading this, Beasley Media Group EVP/Strategy & Innovation, Buzz Knight and I are flying to Las Vegas to kick off “CES Week” as we officially ring in the new year. Along with Paul Jacobs and Seth Resler, Jacobs Media will be heading up a record-setting three tours for radio broadcast execs. And we're excited about this year's mega-show.
Buzz was the guy who initially goaded me into attending CES more than a decade ago. And not long afterwards, Paul and I had the pleasure of getting to know the head of the Consumer Technology Association, Gary Shapiro. Gary has been kind enough to speak at several of our events, from the Jacobs Summit to DASH, always generously sharing his insights.
Late last month, Buzz and I had the chance to interview the always-busy Gary to get a preview of CES 2019 – what we can expect to see, hear, and experience. – FJ
Buzz Knight/Fred Jacobs: How is the buildup to CES 2019 going?
Gary Shapiro: CES 2019 is shaping up to be a record-breaking show. With 4,500 exhibitors across 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space, CES 2019 will be the epicenter for the next generation of innovation. Companies of all sizes, from global brands to tech startups, will come to CES to launch products, build brands and forge partnerships.
At CES 2019, the latest in transformative tech will be unveiled, from 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart cities, digital health, resilience and beyond. These technologies will shape our future, spurring new industries and creating new jobs and opportunities on a global scale.
The 2019 show will have several new and expanded areas that we’re really excited about, including a focus on resilience – showcasing technologies that help countries and municipalities prepare for natural disasters and public emergencies.
BK/FJ: When does your team begin the actual work on the show?
GS: CES is the world’s most important and influential tech event. Planning a show the size and scope of CES is a year-long endeavor. In fact, we have dates for future CES shows finalized years in advance. More, we have floor plans for the 2020 show so exhibitors can sign up on site in 2019.
BK/FJ: How many of your team members are responsible for putting the show together?
GS: CTA employs over 170 full-time staff, but only a portion of those team members focus solely on CES. Nearly the entire staff works on the show in some regard and almost everyone is onsite at CES. We also work with contractors who hire thousands of workers to help in Las Vegas during the show.
BK/FJ: What are the big show stopper brands that will be represented this year?
GS: Every major and emerging industry is represented at CES, from automotive to entertainment, healthcare, robotics and beyond. The entire tech ecosystem gathers together in one place to conduct business. Nearly every major global brand participates in the show – whether exhibiting, attending, speaking or holding co-located events – from Amazon to Google, Ford and NBC Universal.
In fact, 70 of the Fortune Global 100 and 96 of the Interbrand 100 attended CES 2018. In addition to 4,500 exhibitors, CES 2019 will have a robust conference program, featuring leaders from top global brands, including keynotes from AMD, IBM, LG and Verizon.
BK/FJ: Any new partnerships that we can expect this year?
GS: As the global hub for innovation, CES is the world stage where partnerships are forged and markets are connected, furthering growth within the technology market and beyond.
Partnerships are made not only on the show floor, but on the CES stage as well. For example, last year during Intel’s CES keynote, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a partnership with Ferrari North America, using Intel’s AI technology to change the creation and distribution of sports broadcasting and content. At the 2019 show, we expect several high-level partnerships to be announced – although that news is always kept under wraps until CES kicks off.
BK/FJ: Automotive remains a major part of the radio broadcasting industry's initiatives. How many different automotive companies will be represented?
GS: Las Vegas will look like a turbo-charged Detroit during CES 2019. With more than 150 vehicle tech exhibitors, the automotive section of CES 2019 will be larger than many stand-alone car shows. Powerhouse automakers, including Daimler, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Kia, Nissan and Audi, will unveil the next-generation of vehicle tech, fueling the global industry. Traveling beyond car tech, trends like AI, voice technology, 5G and smart cities at CES will help shape the future of transportation.
BK/FJ: Rather than a gadget, what looks to be the biggest trend or two for CES 2019?
GS: Connectivity will be a major trend at CES 2019, particularly with 5G fueling new innovation as it binds together our digital and physical worlds. In 2019, 5G will move from trials to commercialization, with commercial launches in the US, Europe and Asia. By 2025, there will be 1.2 billion 5G connections globally – 14 percent of all mobile connections.
5G is driving innovation across industries, from smart cities to self-driving vehicles, digital health, AR/VR applications and faster content downloads. 5G will touch nearly every area of technology and will be ubiquitous throughout CES 2019, from smart cities and resilience to vehicle technology and digital health. Major mobile operators, including Ericsson, Sprint and T-Mobile, are exhibiting to showcase their latest 5G applications and forge global partnerships.
Artificial intelligence will also be a dominant theme at CES 2019, as companies across all markets – from sports tech, vehicle tech, digital health and beyond – unveil their latest AI solutions.
Artificial intelligence will be a key ingredient technology over the next decade and CES 2019 will have the latest in AI innovation. AI will be pervasive across the CES 2019 show floor and conference program, but also has a dedicated marketplace. In fact, more than 60 exhibitors will showcase AI technology, including Amazon, Google, Panasonic, and Yamaha.
In 2019, AI will be deployed everywhere, from factory floors and retail stores to banks, schools and offices, creating new opportunities. With data customizing services, enhancing experiences and personalizing technologies, AI is changing lives for the better – making us healthier, safer and more efficient.
BK/FJ: The number of start-ups in Eureka Park grows every year. What does that tell you about the future of innovation?
GS: CES 2019 will be the largest startup event in the world, with more than 1,100 startups from 40 countries featured within Eureka Park. Since its inception in 2012, more than 1,100 Eureka Park startups have raised $1.5 billion.
Startups drive the expansion of technology into completely new areas. The startups featured within Eureka Park at CES 2019 will shape the future of technology, creating new markets, new jobs and new opportunities for growth.
BK/FJ: Over the past few years we’ve seen a lot of surprising company groups attending and being represented in Las Vegas (USPS, RCA, Amazon). Are there new companies or some that haven’t exhibited in recent years that will be visible at CES 2019?
GS: CES represents nearly every industry around the world. The show has moved beyond a traditional tech event to a global innovation event, with nearly every top brand represented. Some big names returning, and also some new names at the 2019 show, include Amazon, John Deere, L’Oréal, and Raytheon.
BK/FJ: How do you think C-Space will be relevant to broadcast radio and media execs this year?
GS: C Space brings together leading CMOs, content creators, Hollywood and media, to uncover disruptive trends affecting brands, advertising, marketing and entertainment. The way we engage and consume entertainment continues to change and shift – and C Space focuses on the future of content and its impact on the media and entertainment markets.
The 2019 program will feature exhibits and a robust conference program, including dedicated keynotes and sessions featuring top marketers and leaders from Forbes, Pandora, P&G and more. Panels such as Media Consumption Trends: The Perpetually-Engaged Consumer
And The Future of Advertising for TV Publishers will focus on media and advertising trends.
C Space continues to grow in size and scope. The program at CES 2019 will feature more than 75 participating companies, an increase of more than 200 percent since the program’s start in 2015, across 120K net square feet. Participating brands include Google, Hulu, NBC Universal, NeuLion, Nielsen, Snap, T-Mobile and Vevo.
BK/FJ: Any thoughts about the radio broadcasting industry & its success in transitioning to a digital future?
In order for any industry to succeed and thrive, it must continue to innovate or die. People are consuming content at a rapid pace – with the consumption of entertainment at a level we’ve never seen before. The adoption of 5G connectivity will provide more opportunities for broadcasters to reach consumers and grow their engagement. 5G networks will be 100X faster and 5X more responsive than today, and with an extremely high data rate and low latency – opening up a world of possibilities for the future of broadcasting.
Special thanks to the CTA's Sarah Brown & Tyler Stenberg, and of course to Gary Shapiro.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,200 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.
Fred was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.
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