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Note to Self: For CES 2024, Wear Better Shoes

Jan. 12, 2023
I learned a lot at CES 2023 about the future of the IoT and smart homes. I also learned something about my shoes.

Check out more of our CES 2023 coverage

When planning for editorial sorties to large industry events, the primary concern is, of course, one’s meeting schedule. Who’s looking for meetings? Who do I want to seek out? What do I want to get out of the trip?

When it comes to an event like the Consumer Electronics Show, with so much to see and so many exhibitors to visit with, planning the schedule is a more involved exercise than with some of the smaller trade shows. Despite my many years as a member of the electronics OEM trade press, CES 2023 was, believe it or not, my first. So, I wanted to be careful about organizing my time.

Another aspect of trade-show planning is how and what to pack. When I started attending such events long ago, we were a more formal society. You packed suits, ties, and dress shoes in anticipation of fine evening dining. It was just how people presented themselves.

No doubt, we’re a lot more casual these days, so “business casual” is the code. While many show attendees go with T-shirts/golf shirts and jeans, I still prefer dress shirts, but I pair them with khakis and the like, and leave the ties at home. I’m not sure if I still have any ties, to be honest.

Then there’s the shoes. These days, I generally rely on a pair of well-cushioned shoes that still look somewhat dressy but provide more comfort than real dress shoes. Going in, you know you’ll be on your feet much of the time and doing lots of walking. Dress shoes would be asking for great pain.

Yet, I was not prepared for CES in footwear terms. I’m told that CES has contracted significantly from pre-pandemic years. But this was, by quite a bit, still one of the largest shows I’ve ever attended. With some 6.4 million square feet of exhibit space, the Las Vegas Convention Center is among the largest in the U.S. CES sprawls over most of it and spills over into other venues like the Venetian Expo (formerly the Sands), which is itself a large space.

By the end of the first day, my proverbial dogs were barking. Feet? Hurt. Shins? Hurt. Thighs? Hurt. Hips? Yeah, they hurt, too. Next year, I might have to rethink the ensemble and find some decent-looking, yet more sneaker-like, shoes.

Despite my discomfort, I did find what I came to CES for, in the form of smart-home innovations centered on the Connectivity Standards Alliance’s Matter 1.0 protocol. Matter builds on Internet Protocol to let smart-home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services communicate seamlessly whether it’s Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Google’s Assistant coordinating the action.

We’ve got a large compendium of CES 2023 coverage for your perusal on our site, with lots of show-floor videos, media galleries, and new product coverage. If you couldn’t get to Las Vegas, it’s the next best thing to sore feet.

Check out more of our CES 2023 coverage

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