For several years now I have attended the CES, SXSW and E3. Each of them offer various strength and weakness for technology and gaming. Check out which one would be right for you to follow updates on, or maybe even attend if applicable.
CES – Consumer Electronic Show is an industry only show that happens in Las Vegas in January every year. It is one of the largest conventions held in Las Vegas with roughly 170,000 people attending ever year. The show is huge and takes up all parts of the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as several other Hotels lobby rooms. The main focus is technology, but gaming does play a big part. Xbox originally launched there in 2001 for example. One of the biggest disadvatanges is the sheer size of CES. Thing are often spaced out quite far away from each other and it can take a long time to navigate from one area to another. That disadvantage is also an advantage because every piece of technology that you could want to see is found here.
SXSW – South by South West Interactive specifically is a festival that happens in Austin in March every year. SXSW also covers music and film, but Interactive host roughly 30,000 people the most well attended of them. Many technologies have been launched at SXSW including Foursquare, and many say Twitter is successful as it is because of it. ions There are many panels at SXSW, but any say the real magic happens with the connections that are made in the meeting rooms, parties and other events. The gaming section is offsite and offers a look at many of the upcoming releases. SXSW doesnt offer a very large trade show area. As mentioned many of the amazing parts of SXSW happen with the amazing minds that meet up there. There is a wide selection of panels and official events that help to facilitate this also. The gaming section of SXSW is usually held a ways away from the main area. It generally is the same booths and experiences from E3 and CES. They offer some interesting talks and panels that are not found elsewhere and this should not be discounted. Plan your time accordingly and make sure you take in some of the many talks and lessons that are offered as part of your badge.
E3 – Electronic Entertainment Expo is a trade show for the video game industry that happens in Los Angeles in June every year. 52,000 people attend it every year. Only industry professionals are allowed to attend. Video game developers launch upcoming titles every year. This use to happen at CES in previous years but now most major gaming announcements happen at E3. The event is very well received with playable demos of many upcoming games well before access for the regular public. This event only covers the gaming and not other parts of technology. It’s a very large trade show with numerous press conferences. There are long lines and lots of hand on demos. If you are into gaming this conference blows the others away in that area.
Each of these conferences targets slightly different industries and offers unique benefits. Depending on where you technology or gaming interests lie, following coverage or attending each type offers unique benefits. I usually attend all 3 and enjoy seeing a different technologies and gaming that happens at each conference as well as the over laps between them.