Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 | 10:57 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Setting up for CES can be quite the ordeal, especially if you are new to the arena. For the last two days I joined on with the wonderful people at Gracenote to help set up their booth. Seeing an area the size of my apartment go from slightly framed to ready for show in less than two days is mind-boggling to say the least. Much of the initial work was just simply unloading equipment from large transport containers, and unpacking boxes ... fairly mundane. The work gained more appeal as the large flat panel displays and myriad of music devices were unpacked and set up.
As the booth setup neared completion, the sales crew hit the floor to view the demonstrations and get in some valuable cross-training. The final evening of preparation was one worthy of what CES is all about. With the crew from Asia and Europe joining the preparations, it truly was an international scene where information is shared, and the industry as a whole grows.
Gracenote's booth is packed with nearly every kind of music device from Media Center PCs and Mac Minis to iPhones and car stereos, including the cars themselves. This is Gracenote's largest CES booth to date, with three conference rooms, a dozen 42-inch-plus flat-panel displays, four demonstration bars, some PS3s, a living room simulation, as well as two cars. For music lovers and handheld device junkies, this booth is a must see. And if you visit CES without taking one of their demonstration cars for a test drive, you will have missed a glimpse at the near future.