Technology helped many of us stay employed and productive during the difficult Covid months, but it also taught us about our own humanity. We discovered that as humans, we really do need each other.
And yet, thanks to vaccines and a better understanding of effective health protocols, the world is beginning to open back up. CTA recently hosted live, face-to-face business events in Amsterdam, New York, Washington, DC and Paris. One word describes all of these events — joyful! The happiness our guests shared as they saw old friends and met new people was real and palpable. Each event was different but attendees at each of them shared an enthusiasm for coming together with people passionate about innovation and technology.
That enthusiasm was evident in my meeting with President Macron as well. While his words may have been scripted, President Macron’s personal belief in CES and its impact on France and hundreds of French companies shone through. Even in a tough moment in U.S.-France relations, President Macron took the time to recognize the value of CES as a driving force for innovation — an incredible testament to the event and the work of the thousands of people who make it possible each year.
On a personal level, I still recall the strength of President Macron’s words, the sincerity of his gratitude, the presence of the French friends in the room who nominated me and the overall ambiance of the historic location. No video call could have conveyed any of those things.
In the same way, no technology can fully replace the magic of the CES show floor. I so look forward to the five-sense experience of CES. It’s about the relationships created and strengthened. It’s about the joy of discovery and serendipity of chance meetings. It’s about sharing a meal or a drink with colleagues. And it’s about growing business by getting there first, discovering new opportunities and forging and strengthening ties with partners, investors, customers and media.
I look forward to sharing those experiences with you in Las Vegas in January.
Have a safe, happy, healthy and grateful holiday season.
President and CEO
I3, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry. Subscriptions to i3 are available free to qualified participants in the consumer electronics industry.