CTA President Gary Shapiro Calls British Government Support An Embarrassment
Nearly 200,000 buyers, tech geeks, analysts, manufacturers and media will converge in Las Vegas in less than 24 hours for the 50th annual CES (formerly Consumer Electronics Show). CES is the largest technology showcase in the world next to IFA which happens in late August to early September in Berlin. It’s also the largest convention in the western hemisphere.
Year after year the amount of exhibiting companies has increased. There are now six resort hotels as official CES venues, in addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center and The Sands Expo Center at the Venetian.
CES’ startup showcase, Eureka Park, alone has 600 exhibiting startups from 25 countries.
Each year we see more and more startups and technology companies from France and the Netherlands. However our brothers across the pond in England have a noticeably smaller presence.
“We’ve seen that the Netherlands and others going in there big time [this year].” CTA President Gary Shapiro told the BBC “Britain’s been a little slow to the game honestly. We have a minister from Britain coming but there’s not a lot of activity that we’ve seen at CES.” he continued “I think it’s a source of embarrassment.”
One of London’s Minister’s said that it’s easy to get approval for British companies to attend South By Southwest in Austin Texas in March however Las Vegas is “frowned upon”.
Government backed agencies from France, The Ukraine, Czech, Saudi Arabia, Israel, New Zealand and more support companies headed to CES every year.
The BBC points out that the British Minister For Digital Culture, Matt Hancock, will stop by CES (which is nearly 3 million square feet) for half a day this week before he heads to California to speak with music industry leaders.
Isabella Lane, Managing Director for Smarter Applications, said their company has been invited to networking events that other countries are hosting at CES but not their own. “We’ve been invited to networking drinks from the Holland embassy and plenty of other European countries that have a presence there and support [their start-ups] by doing networking events,” she told The BBC.