Arlington, VA – Following the announcement of the dramatic downsizing of E 3 -The Electronic Entertainment Expo by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is forming an advisory committee to look into the possibility of launching its own West Coast gaming event. The CEA says it will evaluate the feasibility and support for an event in Spring 2007 that would accommodate the smaller game developers who feel they have been squeezed out by the overhaul of E 3.
The ESA announced on July 31 that it was changing the format of its annual E 3 show from high-profile mega-event to a smaller event catering to a select audience of buyers (see Trade Show Executive magazine, August issue, p. 8 or go to www.tradeshowexecutive.com/news_online_main.asp?id=336.). The show spanned 540,000 net square feet and drew over 50,000 attendees when it was held last May in Los Angeles. ESA plans to reduce attendance by 90%.
The CEA produced a gaming show before the launch of E 3 in 1994. The association owns and produces the nation’s largest trade show, the International Consumer Electronics Show, which drew over 140,000 attendees to 1.6 million net square feet of exhibit space in January 2006. The show will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2007.
“Since the Entertainment Software Association decided to eliminate the E 3 event in its known format, we have been deluged with inquiries on whether we could fill the trade show needs of smaller video entertainment companies,” said CEA President Gary Shapiro. “Our executive board met (August 9) and unanimously asked staff to explore ways that we can help the gaming community.” The advisory committee will be led by CEA senior vice president of events Karen Chupka and Dan Cole, the association’s vice president of business development.
Shapiro said the International Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas each January attracts a significant number of game-oriented exhibitors and visitors with specific interest in gaming products. In addition, the CEA has a high percentage of small-business members. About 80 percent of CES members are companies with annual sales under $10 million.