Written on December 30th, 2004 at 11:12 am by Darren Rowse

Bloggers Banned from Trade Show

Pro Blogging News 1 comment

Blog Your Way has picked up this interesting tidbit in an article at InfoWorld about the upcoming CES (consumer electronic show) in Las Vegas in January. Apparently no bloggers will be allowed at the event.

‘The CEA spent more time qualifying attendees this year to make sure everyone in attendance has a legitimate attachment to the consumer electronics industry, said Kristen Peiffer, a CEA spokeswoman. The show is not open to the general public, and the CEA does not allow the blogging community or other independent observers to attend the show.’

I find this pretty disturbing as a blogger who remotely covers this event on one of my blogs (remotely). Whilst I was not planning a trip to cover the event this year it was something I have been considering for the future.

Whilst I can understand that they don’t want their event crowded out by thousands of bloggers each covering the event from a different angle I don’t understand why they wouldn’t embrace some of the recognized tech bloggers. I doubt strongly that they’ll be turning representatives from Gizmodo or Engadget away at the door.

What does it mean to have ‘a legitimate attachment to the consumer electronics industry’? Does it mean having relationships with electronics manufacturers whereby they and even seek you out to review their products? Does it mean having hundreds of thousands of readers each month? If so I could name at least 10 - 20 bloggers who would qualify. In fact if the organizers of CES had some foresight and a few smarts I’d suggest that they go out of there way to invite and ensure that these bloggers attend CES this year because it would guarantee a lot more attention to their show.

The other point that I would make is that there is no mention of other website editors being banned from attending CES this year. I know of numerous other digital camera websites that are invited and given support in covering the show each year. Some of these sites do not call themselves ‘blogs’ but operate on a remarkably similar format to them.

Whilst I understand how such a decision might have been made - I think it reflects a lack of understanding by organizers of the event as to what blogging is and of what its potential is. I hope that in future years they take another look at or at least clarify/modify this decision.

One Response to “Bloggers Banned from Trade Show”

  • While I agree that “blogging” has its place, I have to point out that the position CES has taken isn’t as dire as you seem to think it is.

    Sure, bloggers won’t be given press credentials for the show, but realistically, why would they be needed? If the blog’s a well-established one such as Gizmodo, it’s no big deal to get “industry affiliate” passes from one exhibitor or another that they’ve developed a relation with. After all, even CNET sponsored six “Backstage Pass” bloggers to attend CES this year.

    That being said, you also have to realize that it isn’t an arbitrary decision that the CEA Media Center made. Their first priority is ensuring there’s adequate support to handle the legitimate media covering the show. With the large numbers of media attending this year (the numbers peaked at 1,300 for Saturday, January 8th), they already have a huge challenge without potentially opening the floodgates to the masses.

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