On January 7 at 6:30 p.m., the day after kickoff speaker Bill Gates
has already teased early arrivals with Microsoft's vision of the
future, dignitaries will cut the ribbon, a band will play, and the
teeming masses of CES visitors will pour into the convention center
for the first time.
Fastidious, round-the-clock maintenance of the show continues for
the next four days by a cleaning crew of 100, as the 110,000-plus
showgoers trash the place with virtually as many emptied cups and
water bottles, plastic plates, utensils, and more, doled out by
Aramark's catering team of 550.
THE PARTY'S OVER
About 3 p.m. on Sunday, an hour before the show officially closes,
staffers at some of the smaller, quieter booths will begin breaking
down, though by show rules, they shouldn't. Then at 4, the last
convention stragglers are ushered out and the teardown begins in
earnest, with light rigs coming down first, carpets rolling up, and
thousands of packing crates arriving back from satellite storage
"We've got till Wednesday at midnight to finish," says Clove. "The
National Home Builders Show begins its move in at 12:01 a.m."
covers consumer electronics and entertainment topics for the
Philadelphia Daily News
and the Knight Ridder-Tribune
. His byline has also appeared in Fortune,
, and Popular Science
By CHRIS TUCKER
Off to a gigantic trade show? Here's how to get more than sore
feet from those miles of aisles.
It's the second or third (but feels like the fifteenth) day of a
big trade show. Call it the American Association of Really
Gargantuan Halls (AARGH).
Are you exhibiting? If so, your toughest competitor has a
strobe-lit, center-of-the-action pagoda featuring the Dallas Cowboy
cheerleaders and Bill Gates handing out autographed fifties. Alas,
you're so well hidden that the last visitor you saw was led by a
Sherpa guide. You can even hear dumpsters being emptied.
Are you there to impress clients or schmooze with hot prospects? If
so, your cellphone's dead and you're an hour late for a meeting at
Booth 2338, or 2383, 2833, or whatever you scribbled on that hotel
scratch pad while standing in line for late registration.
You'd love to switch to Plan B, but you can't because you never had