Published in Editorials

Ladies, you've got to get to CES 2013!

by on19 January 2012 2495 times

barbiecomputerIf you're in the industry and you've never gone to CES, make 2013 your year. We ladies are under-represented in a big way. CEA does not report on gender demographics, but by my visual estimation I'd say ladies made up no more than 5% of exhibitors and attendees (no offense to them, but I'm not counting booth babes). What's happening here? Soap box aside, we are simply a bigger slice of the pie. And while I could well get lost in satisfying my curiosity about all the reasons why, that's not really the point. The point is, CES needs us and we need CES.

We all know it, Las Vegas is fun. And believe it or not, even technophiles and nerds have fun in Vegas – outside of their natural environments. If you believe, like I do, that one's true self is revealed outside of one's comfort zone, then you should at least see these guys in action. They're still a little socially awkward, and they still finish each other's jokes with their own punch lines, but they're pretty cool when they group up in large numbers. And no surprise I'm sure, but nerds are gentlemen! If you're into this kind of thing: you won't open your own door, wait for a drink, or look for a seat the whole time you're in Las Vegas. (Don't tell them so, but don't we think it's kind of sweet?)

Besides the social aspect, CES as a trade show is selling itself short if so few women are in attendance. If you have lamented, like I have, that there aren't enough tech products and accessories for women, you probably haven't been to CES - and you also likely live in America. I saw some beautiful cases and accessories, fine leather bags and sleeves, and child–friendly (read mom–friendly) peripherals and gadgets. Again, what's happening? Here's what I think: one, ladies aren't at the show in significant numbers. Two, this isn't the sort of thing you see in retail stores anyway, stateside at least. When I asked at booths about availability for purchase, I was typically told to check online because competition for store shelf space in the states was too fierce. But I can buy a dozen versions of cute for the kids or garish for the adolescents?

What's confusing is that there's no end of research proving that we drive purchases, big and small. Even my husband will admit it - when momma's happy and all that. Doesn't anyone remember the Sears "softer side" campaign? Sears, who is known, and always has been known, for lawn mowers and Craftsman tools had a revelation back in the early 90's when they were facing bankruptcy. Draw the women in. Sure, they made it catchy and memorable with visions of tools and lovely dresses and such - but it worked because women have the buying power. And come on, shopping with our husbands? Better than shopping alone! Go to CES and hang out with him - or 150,000 other nerds? Even better!

Ladies, don't let the booth babes be what CES 2013 remembers of our fairer sex. Those of us with a penchant for technology can make a bigger impact than we have in the past, and enjoy ourselves doing it! I promise you'll be welcomed with open arms, and your ideas and needs will be heard. Come to Vegas, baby!

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Last modified on 19 January 2012
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