Happy New Year all. As we in Australia are starting to gear up for the start to the year, enjoying the most of the summer holidays before really getting into gear after Australia Day, our friends over in the US are already going at 2015 full pelt.
As always the year kicks of with CES – the Consumer Electronics Show – in Las Vegas.
Each year, anyone who's anyone in the tech world descends on Vegas for what is the biggest gathering of tech heads there is. But this year – there's less big-leap technology and more there for marketers.
In the past it's been the place all the tech manufactures launch their latest devices. Since it started in 1967, CES has been the launchpad for pretty much every big tech debut since then. From Compact Disks (yes – they were once a high tech innovation) Xbox, Blu-ray up to more recent things such as smartphones and wearables.
But different to previous years – instead of CES 2015 being about leaps forward in tech and innovation – this year will be more about how the technologies launched in recent years are finally becoming mainstream.
Connected and driverless cars, the smarthome, smartwatches. All have been around for a relatively long time in tech without tipping into the mainstream. And that is where they become relevant for our industry. How do we market those devices and build the brands? How do we create content for them, and apps and entertainment that gives those devices a real utility for real people – not just a new gadget buzz for techies.
This year for the first time, CES has introduced a dedicated stream for the advertising, marketing and creative community.
C Space is designed to be “the official CES destination for creative communicators, brand marketers, advertising agencies, digital publishers and social networks. C Space will tell the story of how content, creativity, technology, brand marketing, influencers and the consumer come together as part of the CES universe.”
A piece on AdWeek this week asked if CES could be the new Cannes. Well, could it? Certainly more agencies are sending management and clients to CES than ever before.
Cannes has always been the go to show for the advertising world. A decade ago it really ramped up and became more interesting to clients side marketers and brands – not just the agency world. Then in the last two years, there's been a noticeable shift in the prevalence of the tech players there too. La Coisette is dominated by Google and Microsoft. It's also going a bit more mainstream as the vast number of celebrities on the conference schedule in 2014 demonstrated.
Coming up in March is SXSW – the other big tech and culture meet up that has previously been dubbed the new Cannes. The Austin Texas gathering is a meeting of technology and hipsters and advertisers and marketers have been heading there in greater numbers for the last couple of years too.
I'm wondering how many Australian agencies sent people over to CES this year? How many plan to go to SXSW and how many are heading to the Cote D'Azure later this year. Who is cutting out Cannes in favour of a trip to Austin Texas?
CES, which started out for the geeks and tech whizzes, is now moving more into our world too – or is it that we are moving more into it's? What is the value in these conferences whose relevance to our industry is increasing and how can we be helping you get the most out of them?
What have you seen from CES so far that piques your interest?
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org