One of the most highly anticipated tech industry events is set to kick off this week in Las Vegas and this year’s organizers focused on reining in an increasingly large gathering.
The Consumer Electronics Show is expected to attract a much wider range of participants this year and promoters recently told The Wall Street Journal that they are attempting to keep entry tighter and more manageable.
Last year, the event saw an 11 percent increase in the number of attendees, welcoming a record 176,000 people, but organizers believe their efforts this year will keep the attendance between 150,000 and 170,000.
“It should appear a little less dense,” Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive of the Consumer Technology Association, told WSJ. “The issue for us is getting around Las Vegas.”
CES 2016 is anticipated to expand to 2.4 million square feet of exhibit space, separated into separate facilities, and will include dedicated zones with focuses on specialized fields like cybersecurity and corporate technology services.
While the event has long been a place where the latest iterations of products such as TVs and stereos were reveled, over the years a variety of other tech-related industries have brought their innovations to CES. The WSJ noted that the event has more recently opened its arms to categories like drones, mobile apps, virtual reality and 3-D printing.
Startups have also begun to make a bigger impact at the annual event, with WSJ confirming that 500 startups are expected to participate in CES 2016, which is a significant increase from the 375 that took part in last year’s show.
Tech giants like Sony, Panasonic and Samsung are also on the schedule, as well as several major automakers.
John Curran, a global managing director at Accenture, told WSJ many car makers are focused on technology that helps keep passengers safe, such as collision detection and carjacking deterrents. Overall, companies are beginning to highlight innovations that cater to some of the biggest consumer concerns, including safety, security and health.
“It’s say goodbye to cool and hello to practical,” Curran added.