The second week in January, Racers joined an estimated 130,000 people at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV. CES showcases the latest and greatest products, tools, and developments in the tech industry. With more than 4,300 exhibitors, including 1,400 startups, CES 2024 set the stage for the trends consumers can expect this year and how technology is helping make everyday tasks simpler.
CES means many things to public relations professionals. For starters, it’s a fun, interactive way to get to know your clients and the wider tech industry. Walking the show floor, listening to a keynote, or demoing a product helps make complex topics more digestible. It’s also a great way to keep up with the latest trends in technology. As companies continue to invest more money in R&D and innovation, we’re seeing rapid growth in the number of consumer devices available on the market and the speed at which they are released on the market. These trends are helping push us into an era of sustainable, low cost, and effective technology that can be found in homes, hospitals, retail, automotive, agriculture, beauty products, and much more.
So, what does the state of technology look like in 2024? Racers recount the biggest trends from CES 2024 as well as takeaways, the most exciting technologies, and biggest surprises from the event.
What is your biggest takeaway from CES 2024?
“There’s a CES for everyone: there are so many different ways to get value out of the event. The big headlines featuring flying cars and huge booths hosting hundreds of people aren’t the only way. Start small and grow: walk the floor and use the event as an opportunity to meet customers, grow to secure an earned speaking opportunity, grow again to set up a private meeting room. It’s an event that can be right sized to provide value for different needs.” Anna Halstead, account director
“People still crave in-person experiences and interactions. I had many conversations with people who expressed that nothing can replace connecting with people face-to-face.” Lynne Chen, account executive
What is the biggest trend coming out of the event? How will this impact the tech industry throughout 2024?
“The most common trend I saw in West Hall was electrification. But this year’s EV displays went beyond on-road vehicles to include construction equipment, personal aircraft, and hydrogen fuel cell trains. And hydrogen energy dominated the conversations in the EV space. I overheard lots of conversations about the possibilities of hydrogen and questions about how hydrogen could integrate into different automotive use cases across industries. But the common refrain seemed to be that this technology is still years away. Most booths showed concept vehicles with production timelines anywhere from three to 30 years in the future. So, I think electrification — including hydrogen power — is something vehicle-focused industries will need to explore and communicate carefully to separate current innovation from the hype. However, after CES 2024, I’m excited for what’s to come in the world of electrification and alternative power.” Abby Haas, senior account executive
“This year’s event had a lot of brands discussing and highlighting their involvement in the ‘software-defined vehicle.’ It’s an exciting time for the automotive world – consumers can experience new innovation in software providing value with every update, rather than waiting for their next vehicle purchase.” Anna Halstead, account director
What is the most exciting product, application, technology, etc. that you saw at the event?
“John Deere’s autonomous remote driving tractor. One of the themes at the John Deere booth was real technology, meaning it’s actually being used today. Whether it’s technology for the farm, a construction site, or from another company, the most exciting thing for me is seeing tech and products that can be used by consumers today for the betterment of those around them.” Jennifer Filleti, vice president
“The most exciting product I saw was ElliQ, a MediaTek-powered AI-powered companion designed to support and accompany older adults, while reducing loneliness and isolation. I think that new technology can often feel inaccessible or intimidating, so I appreciate that ElliQ aims to break down those barriers and improve social wellness.” Lynne Chen, account executive
What surprised you the most at CES 2024?
“I was surprised to see how brands improved the way they integrated influencers into their CES presence. Many of the integrations were more strategic or thoughtful compared to what I’ve seen at past events.” Ben Haber, executive vice president
“I was surprised at how many industries were represented at CES 2024. This year had everything from beauty and entertainment to sports and construction. There were also a ton of startups that I foresee becoming well-known names sooner than later.” Kathryn McTyre, account supervisor
Say yes to CES
More than 3,000 companies exhibit at CES every year, and thousands more participate in other ways. But how do you rise above the noise and take advantage of all CES offers regardless of your investment level? CES requires a thoughtful approach rooted in research, storytelling, and planning.
Take advantage of a webinar replay co-sponsored by Racepoint Global and Kara Dickerson, founder, Content With Impact and former CTA/CES executive. You’ll receive tips and a checklist to help you say yes to CES in 2025.