By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
CES Asia has seen significant growth over the span of five years, as reflected in the event audit conducted by BPA Worldwide which was submitted with its nomination. The 2018 show more than doubled in size from its inaugural show in 2015 and drew international attendees from South Korea, Japan, the U.S., Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand, France, Singapore and Germany. Members of the media represented 31 countries, regions and territories.
CES Asia’s flourishing success earned it the IAEE International Excellence Award in 2019, which recognizes an IAEE member or member organization who produces exhibitions that have made exceptional strides as an international event. The award is presented each year at IMEX Frankfurt.
CES Asia was also recognized this past December during the Annual Networking Luncheon and Awards Presentation at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada (CES Las Vegas Office Senior Director Cindy Hoag pictured below with IAEE Awards Committee Member Charlotte Pearson, CEM and IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA).
Here, CES Executive Vice President Karen Chupka shares with IAEE key factors of consideration for CES Asia, what makes Shanghai a prime location for the show, and strategies for implementing successful international exhibitions and events.
IAEE: What compelled the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®/CES to produce CES Asia in 2015 and what were the initial goals of the show?
Karen: CTA spent more than five years analyzing the market. We saw a great need for an innovation event to showcase technologies across industries that are redefining the Asian market. Our goal with CES Asia is to bring the entire tech ecosystem together to build brands, forge partnerships and celebrate the best in Asian consumer technology. Ultimately, Shanghai was selected as the location for CES Asia because it is well positioned as the financial and technology hub in China and beyond.
Chinese tech companies and manufacturing facilities play a key role in the global economy, especially under the present context that the Chinese government is encouraging innovation and trying to get its economy driven by technology. There is true innovation coming out of China, and CES Asia highlights that.
IAEE: How did CTA go about adapting the show’s appeal to an international audience? What were the most impactful differences versus the CES show in the U.S.?
Karen: CTA has owned and produced CES for more than 50 years. The show is truly global with more than 170,000 attendees, including more than 60,000 from some 160 countries. CES Asia is designed not just for the Greater China region, but Asia Pacific and beyond, and aims to propel the region’s transformative technologies into new industries and markets.
The Asian market was in need of a western-style event and both exhibitors and attendees welcomed CES Asia to the market.
Both events complement each other and show the progression of products to launch. In fact, 75% of CES Asia exhibitors do not exhibit at CES in Las Vegas. These two shows, together, continue to spread the narrative of how technology is transforming our world, improving access and opportunity for all.
IAEE: What does CTA attribute the show’s impressive growth to, and what future plans does it have for CES Asia?
Karen: Extensive planning went into the launch of CES Asia in 2015. We didn’t want to start a show to simply have an event in another market. We want CES Asia to grow and thrive as the Asian tech market continues to expand. We were diligent in our research and we continue to be strategic about the show’s growth.
CES Asia is a quality, curated event. Exhibitors must apply for space and are subject to a highly selective application process. They also must be considered innovative and produce a branded product that falls within one of the show’s 20+ product categories in order to be granted space. Our goal is that the show evolves as the Asian tech market continues to innovate. We expect 5G and artificial intelligence to be a key driver in the show’s growth over the next few years.
IAEE: What have been the biggest surprises (both pleasant and challenging) to producing CES Asia?
Karen: The market’s response to CES Asia has been nothing short of phenomenal. The show has more than doubled in attendance and exhibiting companies in just five years. We work hard to produce a quality event that showcases the true innovation in the region and we’re thrilled with the show’s success thus far.
With that said, launching an event, particularly in a new market, takes careful planning. For example, our conference program is planned in both Mandarin and English, which takes a concerted team effort to produce quality sessions, with top-level speakers in both languages. We have a dedicated team in China who oversees operations for the show and coordinates with our office in the U.S., which helps to streamline planning.
IAEE: What would your advice be to a show organizer who is considering breaking new ground across international borders?
Karen: Before launching an event – particularly a show in another region – you have to know the market. Take the time and do the research. A successful show takes careful and strategic planning.
Finding a valued partner on the ground in the region is also key. CTA partners with Shanghai Intex Exhibition Co., Ltd (Shanghai Intex) to produce CES Asia. Their local market knowledge and expertise has helped us blend our style of event with local expectations and helped to make CES Asia a successful event in just five years.
IAEE: Are there plans for CES shows in other countries as well? If not, what elements need to be in place before CTA feels an international market is ripe for producing a show in that area?
Karen: CTA’s mission is to grow the global consumer tech industry. We do this through public policy, market research, developing industry standards and of course, through events such as CES and CES Asia.
We’re always evaluating new markets for possible events. Each year, we hold our CES Unveiled series abroad. Last year’s Unveiled events took place in Paris and Amsterdam and we’ve held previous events in London and Stockholm. We’ll announce our Unveiled dates and locations in the coming months.
As for future international events, we will continue to examine the markets to determine how we can best grow the CES brand and further tech innovation on a global scale.
The deadline to submit nominations for the 2020 IAEE International Excellence Award is 28 February! You can also check out the other IAEE award categories and nominate deserving IAEE members for these awards by 31 August!