Record Attendance Means Reports of CES's Death are Greatly Exaggerated

We don't want to go so far as to call the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the Rocky Balboa of technology conventions, but let's face it, there's a bit of uncertainty in regards to its longevity. In the past few years, CES didn't seem to bustle to the same extent it once did, and the gut punch this year came when Microsoft announced this would be the last time it would have a major presence at the show, giving up its floor space and not committing to future keynotes. Is CES done for?

Not quite. As it turns out, CES 2012 was the largest in the event's 44 year history with a record number of more than 3,100 exhibitors across the largest show floor the convention has ever had -- 1.861 million net square feet of exhibit space. CES drew record attendance with 153,000 people showing up to glimpse and report on the technologies of tomorrow.

Source: International CES

"The 2012 CES was the most phenomenal show in our history, generating more energy and excitement across every major industry touching technology than ever before," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, owner and producer of the International CES. "CES is the change agent, the catalyst, that brings executives from a wide range of industries together and helps them create better ways of doing business together. The breadth and depth of the 2012 CES, which featured more innovative technology products than anywhere else on Earth, is a testament to the dynamic and innovative global consumer technology industry, which will reach $1 trillion globally this year."

You could write off the increased attendance as a side effect of Microsoft announcing ahead of time that this would be its last appearance, but that alone doesn't account for record attendance, nor does it explain the record number of exhibitors, who could care less if Microsoft is there or not.

In other words, it's premature to check for CES's name in the obituary section of the newspaper. And if you missed it, be sure to check out our own extensive coverage of CES 2012.