Tyler Suiters  

Hey everybody, Tyler suiters with the consumer Technology Association, we are the owners and producers of CES, the largest the most influential tech events on the planet. We are here to get you CES ready. The Big Show is January 8 through the 11th 2019 in Las Vegas. And today we are talking all things CES and that's about as straightforward to title as we can come up with. Our conversations today are with the experts on CES. Some members of the CTA team here in Washington DC who are veterans of the show who can tell you the key areas you want to visit some of the main exhibitors the innovations you can expect to see as well as programming this can sometimes be overlooked, but you want to make sure you know where to go to find the experts in your favorite fields and they Some you haven't yet discovered. Also we are speaking with one exhibitor that has been with CES since day. 150 years later, a conversation with Panasonic. That's all coming up today on CES Tech Talk. Karen Chupka is the Executive Vice President of CES. Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of CTA. Karen. Gary, great to have you with us today. 

Gary Shapiro  

It's great to be here with you, Tyler.

Karen Chupka  

Ah, we're excited. 

Tyler Suiters  

A lot of experience. You've seen a lot of your time during CES. What about what's new this year? Every show has a new feel a new energy to it. What has your attention right now, Karen?

Karen Chupka  

Well, we actually have a couple new and exciting areas this year. But what I'm going to talk about is probably that's when it's expanded because it's one of our new and emerging technologies and that's artificial intelligence. We have a dedicated area at CES sport but you're also They're gonna find it throughout many different sections of the show floor, including everything from transportation to health. So there's not only just one area, but also coverage in many of the industry segments.

Tyler Suiters  

And Gary, one thing that I've heard you talk about so much and this Inception and part came from your own experience, is the fact that we have dedicated resilience area at CES and this this comes from a bit of a scare you had in real life.

Gary Shapiro  

Sure, we were in California in Napa Valley in October, right when the fire set and we're literally surrounded by fires. We're having a board meeting there a special meeting, actually focusing on CES and we were cut off. We had no electricity, no telecommunication system service, we didn't know what's happening. We have to make decisions whether to go or stay and we decided quickly to go forward with our meeting make it earlier we literally knocked in hotel room doors to get our board members to the meeting early. And to go forward. We had to have a meeting without electricity without light. We actually use the window and no hot coffee. I know this is first world problem. But it did get us thinking about the importance especially with climate change with other things that are happening in the world with a move towards localism, about how technology can make a difference. redundancy solar powered. And we certainly combined with some of the efforts ongoing by the Gates Foundation, where we are focusing on city planners, others technology companies that are looking at what's likely to happen in the world and how we could prepare for it. And that's one of the answers I think technology could provide and CES can be the venue.

Tyler Suiters  

One of the things that is new, I think every year is something you're very passionate about as well, again, that is the serendipity of CES that you go with a plan a strategy as a company or as an individual, but you don't know what you're going to find or whom you're going to meet.

Gary Shapiro  

You know, the irony here is that here, Karen and I represent a 4000 or companies that exhibit in a sense are 2000 members of our association that are all technology companies and we have the technology To allow people to listen and learn via without leaving their homes, frankly, with their computers or other devices. And yet we have this great face to face device, face to face event that relies upon the five senses. You you get to see and feel and understand a company and how they're presenting an image. But you also get to find things that you don't plan for which is one of the great unmeasurable values but that's when we hear about so frequently from buyers, exhibitors, journalists and others and investors. They go to the show and they discovers things they don't know they meet people they didn't know before even see before they are able to judge them and establish relationships. And the reason it's important today is that as every company's essentially a technology company, the truth is if you want to succeed in business today, you have to do deals outside your vertical comfort zone. And the success of CES and Karen was such a big part of creating the strategy was to recognize that the world is converging. The different disciplines have to be together different types of technology, and you have to Be able to discover, if you will, other verticals that you're not have no familiarity with and cut deals and communicated. It puts a value on in business on cross cultural communication, on teamwork, and on getting out of your narrow area of engineering expertise or business expertise, and doing other things. And that's what innovation is about. It's discovering something new. It's putting pieces together in a different way. And that's the value and beauty of CES to me and so many others, is just the joy of discovery and the optimism you get from it. The sense of a greater purpose, a sense of optimism about the future of technology, improving the human condition.

Tyler Suiters  

So Karen, Gary, turned to phrase that we've touched on for an entire podcast episode here that is, every tech, every company today is a tech company, or every industry may be a tech industry to some degree, and that is also reflected by the new companies that you have coming to see.

Karen Chupka  

Yes, absolutely. And I think you know, I think as Gary said, you know, companies are looking at how they can stay on the cutting edge and how to stay relevant You know, I think that a lot of people and a lot of corporate decision makers are trying to figure out how technology potentially will change their business. And I was traveling earlier this year and met with a group of people who'd come to see us for the first time. And none of them were technology companies, they were all actually manufacturers have various industries. And they told me how valuable it was to come to CES because they had never thought about what they could be doing differently within their own companies until they kind of walked in and saw everything that was taking place, be it from a transportation to like resilience, as Gary mentioned, or artificial intelligence and robotics. And I mean, the list goes on and on and on. And so, you know, I think there's a lot of value there. And I think that's why we see companies like john deere, for example, that are coming to exhibit at CES or several years ago when Carnival Corporation came in unveiled its new basically smart ship at CES is you know what, what we know is every industry is now trying to figure out what they're doing. Tech strategy is going to be in CES as the perfect playground to come and witness at all.

Tyler Suiters  

Yeah, we were talking earlier about the juxtaposition of two of the companies we had on that podcast, which is john deere, on one hand, L'Oreal on the other. It's hard to get to more differentiated companies, right, that are both talking about tech. But it's true that it's permeating somebody's industries, and Gary Karen sites Carnival, and their co owner, Donald gave a very memorable keynote just within the last few years, you yourself had the chance to experience that personally, not as the CEO or a tech industry leader, but as a potential passenger partaking on a cruise and seeing how technology is implemented into what might be considered a non tech experience.

Gary Shapiro  

Sure. Earlier this year, after the keynote from Carnival, I visited Miami and saw their their smart city ship as it was laid out and it was fabulous. The direction we're going and that to me was not only about shipping, it's about where cities are going and the services and Different ways new apps and businesses will be created as frankly the world is moving to cities now, away from rural areas and now requires not only broadband deployment and smart and self driving cars, it requires provisioning and getting utilities and doing all sorts of things in a way, which allows a livable environment and the creativity, we're coming out. And we're seeing this tremendous growth in the Smart Cities portion of our show. And we have so many great thinkers and business people focusing on that. It's become a mecca, if you will, for smart cities around the world. But it's not only as Karen just said, it's not only about any one area this weekend as my kids sporting event in Detroit, and I was listening to some of the parents that are going to CES even not knowing my involvement about it be a little odd. It was a little strange, a company that's a French company that has a new way of bending metal, to build cars and to build other stuff. There have four people going to see us, two of them from France because they see the possibility of innovation. They want to learn more They want to meet people are interested in doing something different and better. You know, and of course, the auto infrastructure, which is in Detroit is huge in terms of going there because of the smart transportation. But it see us is just a wonderment of discovery, and adventure and excitement. It's why, from my first day I went there years ago, I've always wanted to be part of it. And it's what keeps me going. There's nothing like going to CES and being there in person and experiencing it. And it's something that it's almost a shared group of people that go there that experience that they understand technology, they understand innovation, and they they have something special that they've shared and they become the knowledgeable ones that have been to the world's greatest innovation event.

Tyler Suiters  

So when you bring up the auto sector and Detroit, it's important to note that transportation is really a key word that you are using. When you talk about CES because it's not just autos right now, or it's not just drones. You almost can't use a big enough umbrella term for everything that transportation encompasses. as to where tech is going?

Karen Chupka  

Well, I think that that's true. And I think, you know, I mean, I think even if you look at how we lay it out in the exhibit halls, you know, we have an area where there's transportation focus, but it leads right into the smart cities, because you almost can't have one conversation without the other. You know, and that's everything from looking at individual automobiles, and, and or, you know, as you kind of alluded to drones, but there was, you know, a single person drone showed up at the show and and there have been transportation drones showcased at the show. So I think that's really the interesting thing is that, you know, it's it's really not just thinking about what's the present and what cars can do today, it's really thinking about how all of that changes, especially as self driving cars comes into play, especially as 5g rollout happens. And you know, what we will be doing in our cars in five years, maybe four different from how we use our cars today. And I think those are some of the not only things that you could see at CES, but those are some of the conversations that we try to have on our cards. programs as well to help educate people to think about how does that impact things like insurance and or, you know, even just driver's license tests and things like that, that will all have to be looked at going forward. So those are not only not only things you could see in touch with the show, but you can also come and learn because we have not only industry experts, but also government officials coming to talk about this very issues from not only the United States, but from all over the world. Because some of these things need to be looked at from a global perspective.

Tyler Suiters  

That touches on something, Gary, that I've heard you say before regarding self driving vehicles, specifically, but I think this is writ large across innovation in general in that you can't make judgments or predictions based on what is now and what I've heard you call out self driving vehicles is that we'll even have a steering wheel Will there be a driver seat or a passenger seat? What will the inside of the cabin look like? in some senses, the rules we know will be broken whether it's self driving vehicles, or pick a category

Gary Shapiro  

Absolutely listening to one of your earlier podcasts. You could certainly hear that when you were interviewing someone from Ford. There's no question that self driving is changing the cost of car structure. I mean, obviously initial phases it's adding, but you will be getting rid of all the things you just mentioned. Why would you have a steering wheel and all the apparatus and cost that goes to that and wait as well as you get to a safer self driving vehicle? But But getting back to what we're looking at what you see at CES, it's so interesting is the enabling technologies. You see, certainly with self driving, you see a lot of you'll see a huge number of demos and cars and you see them with that some of them without the driver but the enabling technologies, the chip companies, Nvidia, Intel, Qualcomm, and all the others are certainly big AMD we're having a keynote from the head of AMD. We're seeing that as currency with 5g which we have the leaders of the telecom companies talking about 5g coming, the artificial intelligence replete throughout the show, there's one thing I certainly generals will be talking about. It's a and then as VR and AR as well, certainly and then there's others are related Who would think that sports would be so affected by technology and we have this huge area that keeps growing. Our health is certainly affected and, and we're seeing so many business opportunities and creative people, not only doing interesting stuff for consumers but also solving fundamental health problem. For the first time actually, we're actually certifying doctors with with continuing education credit, because so many health professionals are coming in insurance companies are come. As Karen said, Every company is a tech company and they come there to see us to see to learn to be stimulated to be excited, and to cut deals and that's what we're seeing our challenges, frankly, are really ones of, of growth in a sense, we want to make sure it's a great experience. For everyone that comes we want to make sure it's not too expensive. We you know, we are nonprofit organization we want to give back in any way we can. But Las Vegas is such a great place where it has a great Airport has three of the 10 largest convention centers in the country, as more hotel rooms in any city in the country, and is designed for hospitality and for doing business and that's why we're there.

Tyler Suiters  

So, Karen, Gary mentioned content people in general, and I'll use that as a loose term. That's, that is not a bad description for what c space is. And that's an area that for anyone who hasn't been there, I encourage you to get there, because this is a confluence of Hollywood and media of content and advertising and marketing. So it's not the manufacturing, necessarily, but it's a lot of the idea in the marketplace is driving the manufacturing opportunity.

Karen Chupka  

Well, it absolutely is. And it's also you know, it's also, as you'd mentioned, brands and agency focus as well. So we have everything you know, from like the hulu's. And NBC Universal is over there to, you know, Spotify, and actually, this year, one of the other things that we're doing is we're moving our sports conference content over there because so much of that aligns with what's happening in the discussions at sea space, but you know, it is where the content and creative and entertainment community all come together and it is a little bit of a different venue because you know, a lot of A lot of what's happening there are, in a sense, plans being unveiled for the upcoming year. And so there's much more private meeting taking private meetings taking place, but we have also companies that are putting more experiential exhibits on display. And then what we have is the C space storytellers stage where we bring in about 12 or so executives throughout the course of several days, just talking about what's changing on how, you know, everything from data management, to advertising, to marketing to Content Developer development is changing, and how people are reaching the consumer. And so you know, it's it's kind of become its own headquarters now, for anybody that's involved in brands, quite frankly. And you know, and I think the sports conversation will just add nicely to that because sports is not only about the quantified athlete, but about also immersive media, entertainment, and in creating a better fan experience. So all those things tied together and it's almost probably at least doubled in size issue. So it's gonna be a pretty, pretty hopping place to check out if you get a chance.

Tyler Suiters  

And you have a bit of a personal stake in that in that you're a major sports fan teams from the city of Pittsburgh. Yeah, what element of that confluence of technology and entertainment and sports and content gets you the most excited as a fan, not as a tech executive.

Karen Chupka  

We think it's a lot of things and you see a little bit of this playing out in you know, different groups or that are experimenting it in even in addition to the Olympics, has had rolled some of it out this last year and, and I think it's where you get to see a little bit more of what's going on behind the scenes. So whether it's how fast is that pitch? Or, you know, how how has that team defended a play or, as we see in in hockey, it's you know, whether or not that goals really gotten in and now they have cameras on it, and you can actually see whether that puck is cross the goal, but you know, more importantly also things like concussion protocols and better ways to manage. You know, players health and safety, I think are coming into play. And you know, I think those are good for everybody across As the board, and it doesn't just play out in team sports, I mean, we see that, you know, playing out in NASCAR and almost every other form of athletics out there, which is, which is also interesting to see in it. I think it makes it an even more exciting way for the fans to kind of be involved in track with their favorite players. So,

Tyler Suiters  

Gary, you mentioned earlier enabling technologies and I would expand that here to ingredient technologies. Eureka Park, the home for startups, is an excellent place to find those. How do you as a veteran and someone who spent so much time with innovators and entrepreneurs and startups identify what what you find or what what stands out is especially interesting when you're able to spend some time and you rica Park among those 1100 startup companies that will see this year.

Gary Shapiro  

You know, I first joined the association because I was a consultant I attended my first board meeting and the discussion about raising the cost of exhibiting the large exhibitors that we have to make this show so that anyone with an idea can expose it to journalists, investors, partners, big companies. And buyers, of course. So we took that idea Karen and I. And so let's start solving for startups A few years ago, and it blossom from around 100 companies to now over 1200 companies. And that is absolutely exciting. It's it's something where you walk around and you see the excitement. And you see people literally changing their business ideas as they get more feedback. And when they leave, they almost always have a different business concept of when they started but they get they get investment from Mark Cuban or a deal with Walmart, or a lot of major companies send people there to to enter partnerships or make investments or get ideas and buy things from them. So it's one of the most successful things that we've done that I'm really proud of, because it's it's consistent with the American spirit. Now, these aren't just US companies. The US definitely has the most France has number two. But it is something where it's, it's inspiring from around the world because we're still in a sense startups are very important and big companies in startups now have realized small companies, they need each other. It's not a conflict, it's a matter of big companies can innovate as quickly as startups can. And startups need that first customer or investment. And it all happens at Eureka Park is the one place that people just love to go to, they love to talk about, they love to talk to the startups and innovators. And, you know, the toughest thing is after a year or two, they have to graduate and move on. But we all there's no shortage of companies waiting to fill their space, 

Tyler Suiters  

You can always stay in college. 

Karen Chupka  

Right, right. So as I was gonna add one more thing to that, which is and you started, Gary started to say this, which is, I mean, there are 40 different there are startups from 40 countries that are represented at CES. So it's probably the largest startup place in the world because you're not like he said, You're not just seeing people from the United States states, but you're seeing it from all over all over the world.

Tyler Suiters  

So when I talk to attendees, people from the VC world, certainly the media we deal with on a regular basis. Eureka Park is one of their favorite spots. It seems like the approach to navigating all of the startups and all those booths is as unique as the person you're asking. So, in the limited time that you all have, that you're free at CES, how do you approach that area? And what what guidance Do you give attendees who have three hours to go to Eureka park? How do you approach it?

Karen Chupka  

Well definitely download the CES app that is first and foremost, because that is always going to help you be able to sort and decide you know, what product categories where you want to see, you know, the other thing is that we do try to group like companies together. But then there's also country pavilions within Eureka park so you know, if you're looking for if you're looking to connect with people that are in other parts of the world, you usually can tell that because they're they're grouped together in a they show their country colors, but definitely download the app and and use that as your tool to help decide and actually, you know, one other thing that sometimes people don't realize is the app will help you even navigate meaning that there is technology enabled in it that will help you go from booth to booth and help you guide your way through the floor. So, so it's a great tool for anybody planning anything at CES, 

Tyler Suiters  

I have found out firsthand what happens when you get lost in the booth, the booth and then the app can actually save you. Um, what about your approach, Gary? I mean, you you spend time talking to some pretty serious VC name's Kevin O'Leary, Mark Cuban to name a few. How do you approach Eureka park?

Gary Shapiro  

I just in a weird way, look forward to the time when I'll be able to spend a lot of time there because even if I'm there two hours or three hours, it's just never enough. It's frustrating, honestly, because I think anyone should leave enough time to spend at least three or four hours there. You know, some people may want to approach by the language they speak or there's there's some country pavilions, which are pretty exciting. But or if you're interested in a certain area, I mean, certainly, no one can see the entire city is like we have over 4000 exhibitors there. It's over 2.7 million square feet of exhibit space. And it's you'll know you just can't see it so that we rely on journalists and others to help tell the story of what they think is exciting. We have award ceremonies like innovations that are important, and others do as well. media has various awards. So a lot of it is goes on way after the show when you learn not to the CES is good for inspiration, context starting relationship. And if you're a buyer, figuring out what it is you want and how competitors are doing and what's new, how companies are positioning themselves, but it's certainly it's not the complete answer. We're in a rapidly changing era of technology. There's other great shows that are out there as well. There's other great business events and you got to do a lot of homework and you know, the worst thing you could do is do nothing. If you if you sleep in the world today, you you are losing ground because your competitors are out there others are taking advantage of the opportunities. Can I make one shameless plug, please. I also have a book being released there. CTAs book, future ninja which we'll be talking about out there and I'd love to meet anyone listening to this to say they've listened to this assignment. I'll give you a special autograph at the one of the book signing times.

Tyler Suiters  

That that is not shameless at all. I think it is actually helpful in the time we have left, Karen, I'm looking forward to 2019, the primary slate of speakers is out. Whom are you most excited to see? And know that maybe like picking one of your favorite children, however?

Karen Chupka  

Well, you know, I think that's the that's absolutely the hardest thing to say is Who am I most looking forward to see because I think if you look at our keynote stages and all of our stages, we have a lot of really great talent throughout, you know, throughout our 200 plus sessions, and actually, every day gets populated more and more. I think there's a lot of really interesting people on there. You know, I think clearly the keynotes are all going to be talking about and looking at some of some of the emerging technologies, especially in AI and data and things like that. But you know, I also think that there are some really great speakers on the supersession stage. I mean, clearly it will be interesting to see how the day dedicated to having continuing medical education credits plays out and Some of the experts that are on that stage so I'm excited to see a lot of it and I think for for us sometimes the hard part is how do you when somebody asks, you know what, what is it that I need to see it's really hard to keep that into a condensed answer. So I always feel like I'm throwing in the kitchen sink by the end of the

Gary Shapiro  

thing. Yes. Is it we increasingly the impact of what countries do in policies important and what we're seeing is probably a record number of ministerial level people from around the world who want to see what's going on innovation they want to in a sense replicate the US miracle they saw it and then you McCrone did when he came as an economic minister, and we have so many that and the policy implications of self driving of drones of artificial intelligence and robotics. All the things we CCS will be discussed in CES is increasingly a forum for the discussions of these big issues.

Tyler Suiters  

And probably a good time to mention the second annual CTA international innovation scorecard will be released.

Gary Shapiro  

Yes, we with a very transparent formula rank countries developed countries where we have data around the world is so how innovation friendly they are. And countries are paying attention to that I was just with the Finland, Prime Minister last week talking about and he was very aware of our rankings of Finland. Of course, the fact that they ranked at the very top probably got his attention. The ones at the bottom though I don't hear from but generally everyone wants to have their countries be innovative because that's where the future is in terms of the economy and jobs. Maybe the most insightful advice either of you will give for our attendees listening in 30 seconds or less your top advice for CES week if you aren't attending.

Karen Chupka  

Well, I will say definitely get some sleep and and drink plenty of water and I'll let Gary out his plan ahead

Gary Shapiro  

Wear comfortable shoes. Objects are actually further than they appear in Las Vegas, especially hotels, pay attention to our we have a tremendous investment in buses that work really well and get you there quickly. Plan your meeting so that they could be all in one location each day. That way you spend a lot of time traveling around the city. And, and just be open to some free time and to discovery.

Karen Chupka  

And I would add one more thing which is introduce yourself to someone you don't know because quite frankly, that's where the serendipity happens and the serendipity is what's the magic of CES?

Tyler Suiters  

Well, it is the most influential tech event on the planet. Gary Shapiro, and Karen, Chuck may know more about CES than anybody else on the planet. A real pleasure to have you both with us. Thank you.

Gary Shapiro  

Thank you.

Tyler Suiters  

All right, so shifting our apps a little bit. We're going to move from the show floor into an area you may not have explored yet of CES that is C space. So our residential experts on this topic is Jean Foster, our Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jean, great to have you with us. Good afternoon Tyler. Especially how busy you are right now running up to the show. See space. We hear so much about The convergence of Hollywood and entertainment, content media, the advertising worlds all in one place. You're especially well suited to talk about this area. What is it that's so meaningful to you about what c space brings as a congregation?

Jean Foster  

So So Tyler, as you said, and for those of you who don't know, C space is our dedicated program at CES, targeting chief marketing officers, brands, the ad industry, the entertainment world and the media, we bring them together in one location, CES, it's in the ARIA hotel. And this is where all of these groups come together and essentially the look at the impact of technology in that industry. Given my my background as a marketer and the technology and telecoms industry. I'm particularly passionate about C space.

Tyler Suiters  

And as far as the companies we're going to see the names that will be on stage and and on display at sea space Jean. These are some of the biggest brands in the world. Not necessarily Companies, but they are very much in the tech space.

Jean Foster  

Absolutely. I'm so excited this year for for C space and our C space conference program both our cmo insights session which is on Monday, January 7, where I'll be leading a panel with the CMOS of natgeo and PR and MasterCard, huge names in the industry. But also we've got other sessions like Michel Polo CIO of IBM will be on stage Keith wheat of Unilever will be on stage. Mark Pritchard of p&g will be on stage. Many, many more leading CMOS will be taken to the C space stage. That really goes to show that every company these days is a tech company.

Tyler Suiters  

Yeah, cue the Hallelujah chorus right there. That's perfect. Well, today's guest from outside of the building here at CTA is is someone that is very much in your world gene in the marketing world right and from one of if not v long. term exhibitors at CES is Lauren Zelada. She is chief marketing officer with Panasonic and Lauren, good to have you with us today.

Lauren Zelada  

Hi Tyler terrific to hear to be with you and very excited to be here with you and and Jean and talk a little bit about ces 2019.

Tyler Suiters  

Yeah. So Jean and I were just discussing the 50 year celebration of CES at 2017. Panasonic is one of the very few companies to celebrate 50 years with CTA and CES. How much how drastically has your company evolved from from day one back in 1967?

Lauren Zelada  

Wow, quite a bit. So first, let me say how pleased we are to be such a strong partner with CTA I think we've grown up together in this effort in many ways. But you know, Panasonic has really transformed we are for 100 years Panasonic has developed new technologies for one simple reason to move us all toward a better life and a better world which is, of course, our brand promise. And we have seen an evolution from our consumer electronics heritage to more holistically serving businesses and governments as well as consumers. through things like intelligent integration of physical products with new digital platforms and AI, we are effectively merging the physical and digital worlds, the real and the virtual, and creating better experiences for our customers. And there's similar to how we started in in our consumer electronics business.

Jean Foster  

100 years it's amazing and amazing history. So obviously Panasonic is an iconic brand, and I believe you guys are number 76 and the Interbrand top 100 as a CMO, how have you kept customers informed? As a brand and what that brand stands for today.

Lauren Zelada  

So it's events like CES and participating for those 50 years that has helped us ensure our customers are coming along on that journey with us. And to understand how we're evolving as a business. They come to CES each year not only to see the latest in innovation, but to experience the future. And now, aside from opportunities to engage and experience with our customers, we believe our biggest opportunity for the future comes from leveraging our history, historical knowledge of the end use and requirements of the customer. And so we pride ourselves on really putting the customer at the center of everything that we do.

Jean Foster  

So can you share a little bit more about the point you made earlier and just build on that you talked about obviously, we we all know Panasonic is a very iconic consumer brand, but you mentioned business to business. You mentioned a government market. Can you talk about that shift in a little bit more detail, and how you have started to anticipate those customers and their their needs.

Lauren Zelada  

So as we talked about Panasonic, as celebrated our 100th anniversary last year in 2018, we actually kicked that off at CES last year. And we've been embarking on our next is now thinking both inside and outside the company. And what most people might not know is that Panasonic in North America is a completely transformed business. And and that has happened over the last probably five to eight years. The majority of our revenue in North America is derived from business to business and business to government customers. And so while consumer we're very much still in the consumer business, and of course it is our heritage, and it's certainly our hearts We continue to innovate around our core technologies, such as imaging projection, infotainment, sound, and integration of systems. And we've been able to extend these by either combining them with our deep view of views and experience and knowledge of how customers like to live, work and play. And also leveraging and integrating today's disruptive technologies, where we're able to put customers on a path to better experiences and deliver that in an unexpected and good way. So it may be looking at it from a two to two tier approach where we always keep the end consumer in mind, but we're working ever more closely with our direct customers to to co innovate with them.

Jean Foster  

So can you give me some examples of some of those other solutions that you know people may not know about directly again and not associated with the Panasonic brand.

Lauren Zelada  

So in some ways, I hate to sort of, I don't want to let the cat out of the bag on some of the things that we'll be talking about at CES.

Tyler Suiters  

We are holding the bag open anytime you want, right?

Lauren Zelada  

So, you know, Panasonic really is it you can look at our business sort of in these categories of capability. So we are very much focused on mobility and the connected mobility space which enables smart and safe and comfortable and environmentally responsible mobility for individuals, businesses and entire communities. So we'll talk a little bit more about that at our press conference. That's just one area. Another is intelligent living spaces, enhancing the quality of people's lives through human centric tech technology that actually senses and learns to anticipate and respond to human needs. And then the third big area is around immersive experiences, empowering all kinds of vertical areas like retail and education and theme parks and museums to create fully immersive and unforgettable experiences for their customers. I think that's that's, that's probably about as much as I should say right now.

Jean Foster  

So watch the space and come to your press release. So, so that, you know, when you're talking through some of these new solutions, obviously it aligns very nicely with with CES and some of the key themes that we see mobility and 5g is going to be a very big story this year. Smart Cities, you've talked about intelligent living, I presume that focuses around you know, how we're going to, you know, live, work and play in the future. So it sounds like There's really close alignment between how CES has grown as a show as well as how the Panasonic brand has evolved. Is that what keeps Panasonic coming back to see? Yes,

Lauren Zelada  

I think that what has been tremendous and highly valuable in our in our participation is the platform that is CES has has flexed and grown with what's happening in the market and really keeping up with that outside in view of not just sort of resting on the heritage, but really looking forward and trying to always think about innovation as a driving principle. And there are many, you know, obviously there's a lot of lines blurring across industries, cars or computers, computers or cars. And so I think a lot of businesses find themselves being disrupted in many different ways, especially by technology itself, but also delivery models. The consumerization of the buying process, you know, we, we talk about b2c, and b2b to C, or B to G, but really, at the end of the day, we are all individuals. And even those b2b buyers are actually looking, you know, that they are experiencing a certain type of engagement with technology and experiences in their personal lives. And they, you know, expect the same in their in their work lives. So, in talking to our customers, and then truly understanding their issues, we aim to co innovate and to think about these people as individuals and whether they're making or influencing a purchase decision, and how they defined value is going to be very different. So it's not always you know, a price or cost or meeting a spec. I think those are table stakes, but it could be the ease of doing business. It could be Operational, it could be individual or even inspirational. And so it's fairly important to think about those things. And as we spend our time and our resources, how do we connect with those buyers and influencers at scale? And that's what we feel CES offers us.

Jean Foster  

So I'm going to ask a slightly different question this time or slightly different focus. You and I met last year, when you were speaking on the CMO panel at our C space storyteller stage, you were part of a great panel there. C space for those who don't know, is really the part of CES that's targeted at CMOS brands, the content industry, the advertising industry, they get together and essentially look at the future of Technology's impact in that industry. So take it off your maybe your Panasonic hat, but putting on your cmo hat. What do you see is the role of the CMO Going forward in terms of technology and technology trends within organizations,

Lauren Zelada  

I mean, I think, you know, there's there's so much opportunity and there's the pace of change is happening so quickly. I mean, look at even just the practice and discipline of marketing has accelerated and changed because of different technologies that, that, you know, there's 5000 Plus, you know, Mar tech vendors out there that substantively change, you know, how we do our jobs every day. But it's really important to not get caught up in, in having the tech for tech sake, and really continue to remember that everything is about the consumer. So and by consumer, I mean, really the buyer, right, the buyer, who you're targeting either the immediate buyer or that customers customer, and I think it's really important to think about how can you engage with them on their terms, and there's no shortage of technologies that enable us to do that. So

Jean Foster  

I know you don't want to give away and it's You're going to cover in your press conference, but can you tell us a little bit about what people can see with with Panasonic is what they'll see at CES 2019.

Lauren Zelada  

Maybe a little teeny bit, you know, we we've heard so much about autonomous driving. And obviously, that's something that CTA tracks very closely as to do we as a, as a supplier and in the space. But, you know, I'll tease out the point that, you know, there's, there's the vehicle, but then there's also the roadway. So, you know, a lot of incredible innovations happening on that side of the equation. And I look forward to everybody participating in our live stream or in person at our press conference, and we have some news to share there. 

Tyler Suiters  

But as a high level professional marketing expert, Lauren, you're remarkably reserved in keeping everything under wraps. Panasonic always puts on such a great show at CES and delivers such meaningful technology and innovations. Really looking forward to seeing you again, Lauren, and when the curtain is finally lifted, I'm sure we'll be standing right. They're awesome. 

Lauren Zelada  

Thank you both. This has been so much fun and kind of getting me in the exciting, getting excited about what's going to happen a few short weeks from now. Thank you.

Tyler Suiters  

It's gonna be a blast. Thank you, Lauren. All right, I hope you now feel sufficiently CES ready, but if you don't, we can help what you want to do step one, download the CES app, you can find your favorite exhibitors, you can build your personal agenda. You can also sync in real time across your devices, and new for the 2019 show. You can connect to your LinkedIn account and see which of your connections are also attending ces 2019. Step two, go to CES dot tech. That's where you'll find the info you need about the show running January 8 through the 11th at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. As always, none of this is possible without our true stars engineer John Lindsay, and producer Tina Anthony are the very best in the business. I'm Tyler suitors. Thank you all for joining us. And let's talk tech again soon.

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