CES: 50 Years as Technology Launchpad

CES: 50 Years as Technology Launchpad


Arlington, VA—CES 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the technology innovation event, “cementing its place as the global gathering place for innovation and technology.” Since its start in 1967, CES has showcased an estimated 700,000 products and acted as a technology launchpad.

These include world-changing innovations such as the VCR (1970), the DVD (1996) and the digital radio (2000). In addition, in 2002 it saw the release of Blu-ray recording standards. These also include more recent technologies: consumer 3D printers, tablets and 4K Ultra HD television. CES has also driven market growth in pioneering technologies such as autonomous cars and drones.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the 50th anniversary of CES will celebrate the evolution of the industry from January 5–8, 2017. CES is held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Only a few events and trade shows have 50 years of success, and we are humbled to be in this elite group,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association. “Over the past 50 years, CES has evolved as the industry has changed, reflecting and helping drive the ever-expanding consumer tech landscape. We have succeeded throughout the years due, in large part, to our loyal customers, partners and the deep relationships we have made along the way. This anniversary is the perfect milestone to thank and celebrate our incredible industry partners and the individuals and companies who have been with us for five decades.”

The first CES was held in June 1967 in New York City. It attracted approximately 17,500 attendees and featured 117 exhibitors. Being demonstrated were transistor radios, stereos and small-screen black-and-white TVs, including the first solid-state TV. ces-vintageTop companies exhibited at the first CES.  These included: 3M, Memorex (now MEM-CE), Motorola with Lenovo, Panasonic – Matsushita, Philips, RCA (now a Technicolor brand), Sanyo Fisher (now part of Panasonic), Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Westinghouse and Zenith (now part of LG).

CES 2017 will have more than 3,800 exhibitors covering 2.4 million net square feet of space and more than 165,000 attendees. CES expects more than 50,000 international professionals to attend, representing 150 countries.

Today, CES has expanded to feature industries not traditionally connected to consumer tech. The show now touches every major industry. Leaders from the entire innovation ecosystem come together to experience the latest trends and network. CES is where titans of tech mix with next-generation disruptors, and where global leaders take the keynote stage to tout disruptive technology and envision new trends and markets.

CES will celebrate its 50th anniversary before, during and after CES 2017. It will do so by sharing flashback photos and news from the past 50 years. It will also provide attendees with badge ribbons denoting the number of CES shows they’ve attended (in five year increments).

Exhibitors and attendees with 40+ years at the show will wear 50th anniversary lapel pins. And CES will sell 50th anniversary commemorative T-shirts in the CTA Center.

In addition, special ceremonies will be held on opening day. And, there will be signage illustrating the timeline of Innovation Award products (in the Innovation Showcase). Also planned is a special tribute to CES founder Jack Wayman.

On ces.tech, a digital timeline will detail the history of CES. Plus, the celebration will not end on January 8. CTA will release a retrospective documentary of CES in June 2017. ces.tech

Consumer Technology Association cta-logo-vertical

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is the trade association representing the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CTA membership. These include policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. At least 80% of CTA members are small businesses and startups. Others are among the world’s best known brands. The Consumer Technology Association also owns and produces CES. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services. cta.tech