Gary Shapiro (00:00): 

For anyone who goes there, I think CES is a beacon of hope and optimism. It starts the new year not only on a positive note, but on a note where you realize that you could cut deals, and you could do things, you could be inspired, you could find partners, you could establish business relationships which will change your company or even change the world. 

James Kotecki (00:23): 

This is CES Tech Talk. I'm James Kotecki. CES 2023 is January 5th through 8th in Las Vegas. We are here to get you hyped and get you smart about the world's most influential tech event. This is our final episode before CES 2023 officially kicks off. Stay tuned for more episodes from the show, but, before we get to Vegas, let's bring in the big guns for their take on the CES experiences you don't want to miss. 


Today's three guests are from the Consumer Technology Association, the group that produces CES, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, John T. Kelly, vice president, CES, and Kinsey Fabrizio, senior vice president of membership and CES sales and marketing. 


Welcome to you all. Thank you so much for being here. 

Gary Shapiro (01:15): 

Thank you, James. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (01:16): 

Thanks, James. 

John T. Kelley (01:17): 

Thanks, James. 

James Kotecki (01:18): 

We've got a fun group, and I'm really excited to chat with you today about CES 2023. To start, I want to maybe just do a round robin and have each of you say one thing, and, yes, let's limit it to just one thing that you are really excited about, excited to experience at CES 2023 starting with you, Gary. 

Gary Shapiro (01:36): 

It's the emotion, the passion of people getting together. We've done events for the last year, and every one of them was marked by the pure, sheer joy and attitude of gratitude that people had when they could see each other again, the humanity that we are, the humans we are you see present there, and it's such a great feeling to have people rediscover each other after these dark two or three years. 

James Kotecki (01:58): 


John T. Kelley (01:59): 

Yeah. I'm excited to see all the new technology. I mean, CES is a show of big companies and small companies and, even in the past couple of years, we've just seen so many advancements in different types of technology, whether it be healthcare, whether it be work-at-home technologies, audio, video technologies, automobile technologies. I'm just excited to see all the new technology on display. 

James Kotecki (02:19): 

... and Kinsey? 

Kinsey Fabrizio (02:20): 

I'm excited to get on the show floor. Walking down the halls of CES, there is just nothing like it, seeing the energy and the enthusiasm from our exhibitors. It's something so special and so magical that you can only experience in person. 

James Kotecki (02:34): 

There is something really palpable about that in-person experience. Of course, we're mindful of the history here. CES 2020, January of 2020, COVID was just a blip on the horizon. CES 2021, all digital. CES 2022, obviously we started to come back. Gary, maybe you were alluding to this. Does 2023 feel like the true return of CES? 

Gary Shapiro (03:00): 

Well, it certainly is more magical because we're back to a big size. 2022 was decent, but it was definitely smaller because we had that omicron. Now, we have a lot more people coming. We have a show floor size that's at least 50 to 60% bigger than where we were just a year ago. We have so much innovation and so many exciting things that exhibitors are doing and so many announcements in press conferences. It's just the sheer excitement. Of course, every show is different because there's new technologies, new people, and roughly half the exhibitors are new exhibitors, the feeling that we're back to being who we were as people, seeing each other and exploring how innovation is going to make the world better. 

John T. Kelley (03:46): 

Building on what Gary said, it's just the opportunity where the entire world comes to CES essentially. It is a true global event. We have people from over 150 countries attend CES. On any given year, about a third of our attendees come from outside the United States. 


My career prior to being in this role was actually I oversaw our international efforts to attract our international attendees to CES. Last year, at CES, it was unique because, despite all the challenges posed by international travel at the time, we still had a great showing of international companies at the show. This year, I'm really excited to see a lot of those people that I was not able to see last year despite the good numbers we did see. It will be great to be back more in an environment where we do get to see everybody, face-to-face meeting and not really have some of the pressures that we might have had last year. 

James Kotecki (04:34): 

There's an interesting element to CES specifically which is obviously so focused on having this incredible in-person, can't-get-it-anywhere-else kind of experience, and yet, the technologies, many of the technologies that are on display, and many of the companies involved are actually selling are the same technologies that enabled us to work remotely during the height of the pandemic and are continuing to enable this kind of remote work, hybrid work, work from anywhere, work-in-the-metaverse kind of approach. 


Kinsey, what are members saying about despite the fact that not only do they use this technology, they actually make a lot of this technology? What do members say about why they actually want to be there in person? 

Kinsey Fabrizio (05:13): 

Well, I think right now, more than ever, our members want to be in-person. They want to collaborate together. They want to connect with each other. They want to share ideas. They want to launch their new ideas in front of their peers and their colleagues and the media, and CES is a great place to do that. I'll also say it's not just the tech for remote work that was so crucial during the pandemic. So many other tech solutions were really, really fantastic, home entertainment, health tech. It was just a really great opportunity for the tech industry to shine, and I think coming to CES and putting them on display is a great opportunity for everyone. 

James Kotecki (05:50): 

... and tech to make it possible for people to meet in-person as well. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (05:53): 

Health technology was wonderful during the pandemic. So many companies developed solutions like air filtration technology, solutions for a safer, cleaner environment and a germ-free environment, and we really owe this all to the tech industry. 

John T. Kelley (06:09): 

As Kinsey indicated, I mean we've seen a lot of advancements not just in the technology on the show floor, but just in the trade show industry as a whole as, really, COVID really forced the trade show industry meetings and conferences industry to push some industry forward to create a safer environment for attendees when they attend large events like CES. 

Gary Shapiro (06:25): 

We're taking as step further in 2023 CES. We're heading more towards a touch-free environment where we want to minimize the people that are touching door handles and things like that. This is just general good health protocol I think we'll see in the future being adapted by us and by other organizations as we go forward. I think we're all a little bit more sensitive to the things we can do affirmatively to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission. 

James Kotecki (06:50): 

John, something that a listener to this podcast might be interested to know is, if I go to CES 2023, what are the health protocols for me as an individual? Obviously, last year at CES 2022, we had masking. We had a lot of free COVID tests that were handed out. Things hopefully look a lot better from a global health perspective this year, but what are the overall protocols people can expect individually? 

John T. Kelley (07:14): 

Well, as Gary mentioned, we are working to create more of a touch-less environment. Last year at CES, we actually took a layered approach. In consultation with medical professionals and advisors, we implemented several protocols. You mentioned masking, testing. We did have a vaccination requirement last year as well. This year, vaccination is not required, though we strongly encourage people to both be vaccinated and have a flu shot as well. Masking, not required, but we do understand that a lot of people will probably want to wear a mask, and so we encourage them to do so if they feel comfortable. The same thing goes for testing. Testing will be available on site. Different testing options for people, should they need it, will be available for our attendees as well. 


This is in addition to some of the other protocols we've put in place. For instance, we have wider aisles on the show floor to cut down on some of the congestion and create more of a social-distancing type environment. Earlier, I mentioned the venues. Many of the venues in Las Vegas have created enhanced air filtration systems or implemented those within their properties, so we do feel like the protocols that we have in place are in line with many other large events and meet or exceed people's expectations with respect to health and safety protocols. 

James Kotecki (08:24): 

Great. As Gary mentioned, we are transitioning out of a rough couple of years into something that hopefully looks a lot better, and we're all really excited to come back to CES 2023. Kinsey, from your perspective, what are you hearing from members about how they're approaching CES this year? Does it look different for them? Do you have any kind of trends that you can point to for ways that people are thinking about it maybe differently than they have in the past? 

Kinsey Fabrizio (08:46): 

Well, I think, in addition to being really excited to get back together in person, our members are thinking a lot about how their companies are solving some of the world's biggest challenges, and that really lines up with the theme of CES, partnering with a UN partner, the World Academy of Arts and Science, around how tech is solving some of the world's biggest challenges. You're going to see that show up from our members. They're creating solutions for healthcare access and delivery. They're creating solutions for environmental sustainability and access to food. I think that's something that's different this year that we're looking forward to. 

James Kotecki (09:22): 

Gary, we've been talking about the theme of Human Security for All on almost every episode of this podcast, but I want to hear directly from you what appealed to you about that theme. I don't believe CES has actually had a theme even in the same way that this is. Why a theme and why Human security for All this year? 

Gary Shapiro (09:39): 

Well, certainly, the last few years of the pandemic have taught all of us, including our companies who come to CES, that you just can't do things the way you did. You have to be open to new ideas, new directions, see what the world situation is and adapt. That's what we have done. 


I've been getting that question about what's the theme of the show from reporters for a few decades now, and I always said the theme was innovation, which, of course, is still is, but overlaid on that, this year we have the overall theme of sustainability consistent with the UN objectives that have been agreed to by all countries, and related to that are these securities or rights. 


In learning about those, last January, it occurred to me that they fully overlap almost everything we're doing at CES, the focus we have on food technology, on clean air, on clean water, on healthcare especially. Each year, going even before COVID, we were expanding rapidly in that area, but it just totally increased dramatically because everyone is trying to come up with solutions for health and there's a focus on health, the focus on political security and community security. 


The only thing it doesn't cover, frankly, is mobility, and we're just adding that one because we can. Mobility is one of the things that makes people free and gets around and, whether it's the record amount of space devoted to mobility in not only cars, but now in the water, in the air, every form of transportation, electric scooters, self-driving, electric, you name it, it's out there. That's what CES has expanded to do is that people want freedoms, and these are freedoms. The fact that some of these technologies are present all around the world, even in countries that are totalitarian, is obviously a good thing, but they also allow humans to express themselves in different ways not only to survive, but to thrive. I think that's where we're heading as a world, that these are fundamental securities that every human being should have, fundamental rights, and technology will actually empower us to do that in so many different ways. 


With the shortage of healthcare workers, with the issues about the environment, with the fact that everyone should have the right to food and healthcare, we're providing the answers. It's just a matter of wise and smart people from all around the world being entrepreneurial and innovative and being able to have a place where they could get together with other like-minded people and with investors and media and potential partners, big companies, you name it, retailers, other people that buy their products, government agencies, things like that. They all come in one place, and that's in Las Vegas the first week of January. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (12:01): 

Another thing that I'm hearing more from our members and exhibitors this year is that they're looking forward to come to CES to meet with all those groups that Gary just mentioned, but they're also looking forward to meeting together with their own staff. During the pandemic, so many organizations created remote working environments, and a lot of them haven't had many opportunities to get all back together in-person, and we're hearing from our customers that they're going to use CES to do that, and we couldn't be more thrilled. 

John T. Kelley (12:28): 

Yeah, so that just speaks to the efficiency of trade shows really, not only can you meet with your partners and investors, but you can meet with your staff. 

Gary Shapiro (12:34): 

How many meetings does the average CES attendee have at CES? 

John T. Kelley (12:38): 


Gary Shapiro (12:39): 

Wow. How long would that take to have those meetings if there was no CES or other trade show? 

John T. Kelley (12:44): 

If you're someone like me that's traveled around the world for most of my career, it would take a lot of time. It's a lot of flights, a lot of miles, a lot of nights spent in hotel rooms, and you can spend four nights in Las Vegas and accomplish all 29 meetings. 

Gary Shapiro (12:57): 

We have the award for the greenest trade show according to Trade Show Executive Magazine. 

James Kotecki (13:02): 

I do think it's interesting to talk about the meetings because people who see CES on TV probably don't understand the extent to which actually so much of CES is happening in conversations that are maybe off camera and off the show floor. When we talk about the scope of the different kinds of people who are here, the different kinds of ways that Human Security for All can be interpreted, it reminds me of the vast scope of CES itself. Can we explain for people the different technology sectors and really the breadth of technology that is actually on display in Vegas? 

Kinsey Fabrizio (13:33): 

Yeah. Absolutely. I'll start. West Hall, this is the new hall at the Convention Center, this is where we're going to feature automobile and mobility technology. It's not just cars. Though we will have a lot of vehicle, electric vehicles, autonomous driving solutions, we're also going to have marine tech and EV tolls, as well as agriculture tech in that area. If you move further down the Convention Center, you get to North Hall. This is where we have the digital health category, one of the biggest growing categories within CES, an exciting part of the show floor. We also have IoT, AI, robotics, FinTech, enterprise tech in this area as well. 


If you keep on moving down the Convention Center, I'm just going to take everyone on a little tour, you'll get to Central Hall, and this is what you can think of as traditional CES. This is where our biggest exhibitors are going to show up. They're going to be featuring the latest innovations in television and home theater. We also have a part of the show dedicated to gaming and metaverse and Web3 in Central Hall. It's going to be a really exciting part of the show floor. There's also going to be a Web3 studio in Central Hall with CoinDesk, and you're going to hear from influential Web3 voices, and you're also going to get the latest and greatest crypto and blockchain news in that area. 


If you leave the Convention Center and head over to Venetian Expo, you're going to find smart home tech, food tech, accessories, lifestyle, sports tech, a very exciting part of CES, and you're also going to find Eureka Park, and this is home to all of our startups. We have over a thousand startups in Eureka Park, 20 countries represented. You're going to see a group from Ukraine, which we're very excited about, and also for the first time a group from Africa, the Congo, will be representing at CES in Eureka Park. 


The last area I'll mention, Aria, C Space. In Aria, this is where the entertainment content, media, advertising and technology communities come together. You're going to see them all in-person in Aria. There's also a storyteller stage. You're going to hear from influential leaders in this community talking about their success stories and sharing more about their companies, companies you'll see in C Space, TikTok, Snap, Roku, SXM, and so many more. It's a really vibrant part of the show. 

James Kotecki (16:04): 

TikTok, who we actually had on this podcast actually, so we can go back to that podcast episode. 

John T. Kelley (16:04): 

That's right. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (16:04): 


John T. Kelley (16:09): 

Yeah, and it's not just indoors. We have outdoor exhibits as well at the Convention Center. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (16:12): 

Thank you for reminding me of that. We have the plazas. Central Plaza, right outside of Central Hall, this is a super exciting part of the show floor. This is where Google has their space every year, and it's just a lot of fun to walk around, and then outside of West Hall, in West Plaza, this is where we have an autonomous driving test track. That's a really cool experience to get by and see. 

James Kotecki (16:37): 

Gary, it is way too overwhelming to see all of this at one time. If you think, oh, I'll just go and wander around and see some cool stuff, you can very easily get overwhelmed, at least I have in the past. What's your advice, Gary, to people who are approaching CES for the first time and want to see as much cool stuff as they can? 

Gary Shapiro (16:54): 

Plan ahead, download the app, which will be available in mid-December, and think about where you want to go and, when you plan out your visit, spending a day in each location is probably the best thing you could do. Figure out what is an absolutely must-have like a keynote speech or something else, and then build a day around it in that location so you're not just spending a lot of time on these wonderful transportation system with the free buses and the taxi that we have in Uber and Lyft, but if you plan, you could. There's three major locations essentially and, of course, you have to get back and forth from your hotel. That's it and, of course, I try to get a lot of sleep, eat healthy, exercise, go easy on any alcohol, and remember things in Las Vegas are further than they appear. 

James Kotecki (17:36): 

Absolutely. John, we're talking about the scope of this show. I believe this is your first CES in your current role where you're actually directing the show. Has it been a challenge to get your mind around a show this large as you step into this role? 

John T. Kelley (17:49): 

Well, as Kinsey and Gary indicated, this show is a very large show, but it's a lot of shows within shows. For instance, as Kinsey indicated, the automobile space, mobility space over at West Hall, all the exhibitors over there are automobile, transportation-focused exhibitors. Conference programming over there is focused on that category as well. Moving to the North Hall, digital health, all those exhibitors are grouped together. In a way, a lot of these are shows within a show. 


Actually, prior to my current role, I led our show in China. We did CES Asia in Shanghai, and that in itself was quite challenging for a lot of different reasons. Obviously, CES is a little different just given the scale, but, at the end of the day, we have a great team that has spent dozens of years working on CES, so that just makes my job easier and easier. 

James Kotecki (18:33): 

Gary, speaking of China, and Kinsey mentioned Ukraine, we have to, of course, be mindful of the fact that CES 2023 is taking place amidst a time of global change and some of the global trends that you wrote about in your book, Ninja Future, and just the macro environment that would take place in is reshaping technology and the companies within it all the time. In this era of people wondering about what the future of crypto is, people wondering about the future of Russia, Ukraine, people wondering about the US relationship with China and, of course, the layoffs that have affected some in the tech industry, I'm just curious how you think about CES 2023 amidst all of those things. I know that CTA, the organization that you represent, is of course thinking about all those things in its broader capacity as a trade organization. 

Gary Shapiro (19:20): 

Certainly, as part of our job representing 1500 American companies, to be focusing on those issues, and we do. We're very active in the public policy not only in Washington and in Canada, but also in the 50-state legislatures. We have teams of people that focus on these things because they're important issues for the future of the tech industry, the future of innovation, the future of solving some of these problems. There's a lot of proposals out there. We're doing so many different things that are new in so many areas of innovation that there are really important questions being discussed and debated worldwide. CES is a forum for that as well to discuss and debate some of those issues. We've had really interesting meetings since we have public policy people from all over the world, cabinet level ministers, ambassadors. As John indicated, one out of three people coming to the show is from outside the United States, from all over the world, and they're concerned with some of these issues as well. 


Some of the things, obviously, we can't control, the Russian-Ukraine situation, as well as what we're dealing with in terms of the global economy and some of the concerns about the tech industry. We take some pretty strong positions on some things. We believe that tech can and should appropriately be regulated as long as we understand what those regulations are, and we clearly know what the law is, amd we don't have to go to the government and ask for permission. For anyone who goes there. I think CES is a beacon of hope and optimism. It starts the new year not only on a positive note, but on a note where you realize that you could cut deals and you could do things, you could be inspired, you could find partners, you could establish business relationships which will change your company or even change the world. 


That's why CES is so wonderful for me personally and why our staff is so committed and passionate about it, because it really is changing the face of innovation by getting all the different industries together which are having ups or downs at different rates, but it gets them in a sense in one location, the leaders of those industries, and they come and do deals because no company could do anything alone now. Yes, we've been in and out of recessions before. We will be. We've been in and out of world problems. I'm a big believer in the human ability to get through these problems and be resilient, and as long as we're moving forward, which is what innovation and technology is about, I think we're in a great place. I think CES and other trade shows around the world are very important venues to allow those conversations to occur, which form the relationships which actually help us get through some of these problems. 

John T. Kelley (21:31): 

To me, part of the magic of CES is just the ability for people from around the world from all different industries to come together to meet, to have high level conversations about technology. CES really, at its core, is just a show of big ideas. That's really what CES is. It's amazing to see, walking the show floor, as Kinsey indicated earlier, just walking the show floor, seeing all these ideas on display at CES. That doesn't change. People will continue to have these ideas despite all these headwinds and macro pressures that they may face throughout life. People are going to continue to dream. They're going to continue to have big ideas, and there's no better place to see that on display at CES. I think, as Gary indicated, again, it's just that magic to see the convergence of all the industries coming together to really celebrate that spirit of innovation at CES. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (22:17): 

Yeah. In addition to the show floor, the really special thing is hearing the different attendees and speakers talk about what they're doing in our conference programming and hearing how they're approaching new solutions, how they're problem-solving, how they're identifying how to make the world better, their own companies better, their industry better with tech solutions. It's wonderful to not only be in the audience and hear those, but to get to be on stage and share what you're doing, and I think CES is just a great platform to do that. 

James Kotecki (22:51): 

CES is a place often where the impossible becomes possible and things that seem like science fiction actually take shape and are tangible on the show floor. I ask this question partially in jest, but partially because the things that you answer could actually happen. What's a piece of fictional technology, just round robin, that you hope to one day see at CES? 

Kinsey Fabrizio (23:11): 

I have many. I like to multitask. Blow drying my hair, I feel like is just a boring task, so if there could be a robot that could do it while I was doing other really productive things, I think that would be really great. 

James Kotecki (23:25): 

So a hairdryer drone is what I'm hearing from you. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (23:27): 

A hairdryer drone. I also would like to be able to teleport, get somewhere really quickly. 


Did I steal that from you? 

John T. Kelley (23:32): 


Kinsey Fabrizio (23:33): 

I'm so sorry. Well, a flying car. 

John T. Kelley (23:36): 

I'd love to see teleportation at CES. Flying car is another good one. We've seen bits and pieces of what that could look like over the years, but that's another big one. That might be more so of a reality than teleportation. 

James Kotecki (23:48): 

We do see some pretty interesting aircrafts or maybe experimental aircraft at CES. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (23:52): 

You could EV toll. You could just go up and come right back down. 

John T. Kelley (23:54): 

Yeah, we do have EV tolls at CES. That's right. 

Gary Shapiro (23:56): 

I've been a robotics fan and science fiction fan since I've been young, and I believe robots will increasingly do great things for us, but in the area of healthcare where we have a fixed number of doctors and healthcare professionals, and we're getting older, it's become a crisis. I think that we are increasingly getting to a point where you'll have predictive health, whether it's a seat in your automatic car which could tell you that you're likely to get sick and what you should do about it or just the fact that you have healthcare based on your individual genetic makeup and food you intake and your body type and everything else. To get real results and keep people healthier is very exciting. I've been dreaming about self-driving cars, and it's becoming a reality, a lot of the things that I was thinking about... and not having hair. I wasn't as creative as Kinsey, but some of the things- 

Kinsey Fabrizio (23:56): 

I was a little selfish with my answer. 

John T. Kelley (23:56): 

Yeah. Exactly. 

Gary Shapiro (24:39): 

Some of the things I used to... I remember flat screen TV and wall TV was something I always talked about. We talked about home theater. A lot of these things did become reality. When I first started going to CES, the cell phone was just being introduced. There was the VCR and the compact disk player, which was amazing, was 1G. Every 10 years, there's a new G. Now, we're on 5G, and we're seeing so much, but we've also seen the evolution of the computer, of transportation, so many different types of video and so many different things that have fundamentally changed lives. A lot of that does go to health and safety and food and water, and that's what we're seeing at CES, but also the area where I think we have the most room for growth is education and child raising, because I don't feel we're doing a very good job of either one right now at least in American society. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (25:22): 

To play off the health thing, something that I think we will start to see more of and we're going to see a little bit this year at CES is diagnostic testing that consumers can do on their own. Abbott is launching a diagnostic blood test for concussion detection. People can get their hands on COVID tests very easily now, any type of testing that consumers can do at home to avoid having to go into the doctor, I think. I have young kids. Ear infections, what a pain. If we could check for that at home easily, that would be great. 

Gary Shapiro (25:49): 

I would love to see that. Yeah. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (25:52): 

Right? Right? I know. Does it need an antibiotic or not is the question. 

John T. Kelley (25:54): 

It's technology empowering the consumer. 

James Kotecki (25:56): 

Absolutely. Well, this has been a blast. I really enjoyed talking to all three of you, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of you in Vegas in January. 


Gary Shapiro, last word is yours. Final thoughts on things you want to say about CES 2023? 

Gary Shapiro (26:10): 

Thanks, James, for all you've done. It's been a great series of podcasts. It's exciting. We're leading up to one of the most important events, I think, in the world in terms of technology and innovation and people doing things for the future of mankind. It's really great. We're excited about it, obviously. It's not too late for register at It's something that, if you are connected with the industry, you can register to attend and, when you attend, obviously it's going to be very busy. Don't be concerned because, if you're at the show you are, we'll be able to stay on for 60 days onto our website and go to some of the sessions that you may have missed. This is something that we have found journalists and others who attend the show want to link up with an exhibitor or see a conference session they miss can do. It's something that we're offering as a benefit for those that for some reason they can't attend the CES. There is a way of registering onsite for the digital portion of the show, and you could find that out on our website. 

James Kotecki (27:01): 

Well, Gary Shapiro, John T. Kelley, and Kinsey Fabrizio, all of the Consumer Technology Association, thank you so much for being on the show. 

Gary Shapiro (27:08): 

Thank you. 

Kinsey Fabrizio (27:09): 

Thanks, James. 

John T. Kelley (27:09): 

Thank you, James. 

James Kotecki (27:10): 

Well, that's our show for now, but there's always more tech to talk about. Please subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss a moment and get more CES at That's C-E-S dot T-E-C-H. Our show is produced by Nicole Vidovich, with Kristen Miller and Mason Manuel, recorded by Andrew Lynn and edited by Third Spoon. I'm James Kotecki talking Tech on CES Tech Talk.