Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 | 1:50 a.m.
Southern Nevada companies that exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show that wrapped up Sunday are hoping that 2010’s inaugural Las Vegas trade show will be a sign of things to come.
“We got absolutely unbelievable traffic,” said Steve Mevius, president of Henderson-based Polar Shades, which manufactures and distributes automated retractable awnings, screens and shades. “On Thursday and Friday (of the show), if we got a half-hour break, we were lucky. I was losing my voice and, boy, do my feet hurt.”
Mevius has never exhibited at CES, but this year’s experience encouraged him to get on board for 2011.
“I’ve exhibited at some other shows that are more geared to my industry, but the response was far greater here,” he said.
Adding the automated features to his products made them a better fit for CES and Polar Shades exhibited with Volutone, a California-based home automation company.
The Consumer Electronics Association, which sponsors CES each year, said attendance at this year’s event eclipsed last year’s. Based on registrations, the association estimated attendance at 120,000, an increase of about 7,000 over the 2009 event, but short of the 130,000 estimated in 2008.
It should be several weeks before the association gives an official audited total attendance for 2010, but local companies that exhibited were impressed with the pace on the floor.
“I thought it was a great turnout,” said Howard Scheff, founder of the 2,500-member Professional Wireless Retailers Association based in Las Vegas.
Scheff said he never expected a flood of new membership at CES, but he views the show as an opportunity to meet existing members face to face. And this year, there were plenty of face-to-face meetings.
Scheff theorized that by having most of the exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center, there was more connecting time for people on the floor. About 2,500 exhibitors had CES booths at the Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Renaissance and the Venetian. But there wasn’t a floor at the Sands Expo Center and there were fewer displays in temporary facilities in the Convention Center parking lot.
The public’s attention to health-care products helped Las Vegas-based Double Summit, which had three CES booths showing Rhythm Touch home physical therapy muscle stimulators.
Tammy Fisher, who staffed one of the booths, said this year’s CES was one of the best in the company’s five years of exhibiting.
Another medically centered exhibit was offered by Henderson-based EasyScripts Inc., which offers Web-based medical service and prescription benefits plans and franchised kiosks.
Kendra Marcoux, president of EasyScripts, said her company was also offering digital blood pressure monitors and high-resolution Webcams as part of the company’s teleconsultation system to link patients with doctors around the clock.
CES was Marcoux’s first show for the company that is going live this month. The traffic generated by the booth impressed Marcoux, who signed on for next year’s show.
“I couldn’t have arranged this spot (on the trade show floor) if I knew what I was doing,” she said.
While the Las Vegas companies that exhibited were happy, so were conventioneers who found no flaws with transportation to and from the Convention Center.
Delegates standing in taxi lines said they had no major delays for cab service.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority sets up two cab stands during major conventions like CES. At both locations, supervisors overseeing the cab stands had three lanes of taxis to pick up riders, minimizing delays.
“It’s all been really smooth,” said Irwin Bransky, vice president of sales and marketing for Austin, Texas-based Key Ingredient Corp., while in line.
Key Ingredient founder and CEO David Goodman added that there was no wait for a cab at McCarran International Airport when he arrived.
The Las Vegas Monorail had a busy but smooth CES, a company spokeswoman said.
“We don’t have any hard numbers because we announce our ridership quarterly, but we always get fantastic numbers for CES,” said Ingrid Reisman of the Las Vegas Monorail Co.
“When a rider prevents the door from closing, it delays the system by a few minutes and I’m sure that happened during CES, but there were no major delays,” Reisman said. “But that can happen regardless of whether there’s a big convention.”