be part of something bigger

Shelton Fleming Associates
Shand House
14-20 Shand Street
United Kingdom

Registered in England 1647866

+44 20 7378 7021


CES 2023 Insights for Event Managers and Marketers

What tech trends really matter and how big brands did the event! 

CES23 (Consumer Electronics Show) is arguably the world’s most influential trade show. For event and marketing professionals it’s a chance to see what tech is generating hype and why; but also, to see how the big brands are presenting their ideas and products. 

CES 2023 was its usual mix of cutting-edge concept tech being showcased alongside now affordable and implementable ideas from a few years ago and some genuinely interesting ideas on where society and business might move in the next few years. What was also fascinating was dissecting the trends and fashion in the use of the event space. How immersive and more interactive tech is engaging 200,000 plus visitors.  

Here is an overview of the trends we spotted…  

#1 – All things immersive 

Frankly if you turned up to CES with a conventional ‘zoned’ stand with video and the odd touch screen then you had misread the brief. Big and smart brands were offering audience experiences that owed more to art installations, live theatre, and even immersive film/gaming experiences. Take a bow BMW, Mercedes, Canon and Dassault.  

The focus was on how to engage crowds from afar and then offer a smaller more intimate experience – layering AR and VR experiences with a personalisation of the experience and a unique takeaway or shareable experience. The demonstration of the Man City VR Fan-engagement platform by Sony particularly caught our eye. It used real-time motion capture being fed into immersive VR worlds is going to be hugely influential moving forward.

#2 Sustainability 

Without exception – everyone was at pains to show how sustainable their presence at the event was. From the materials and process used in the construction of the event space to the green credentials of the product showcased. The sustainable brand value message was loud and clear.  The event itself used the Elon Musk Tesla Loop to transport people in EVs away from the normal Las Vegas Infrastructure and many stands used fabrics and theatre style lighting to create space and areas that looked effective and reduced the materials used.

#3 AI  

AI isn’t new. It’s been talked about and grandstanded for a decade. But as has become the norm with a lot of technology, the reality and tangible deliverables haven’t lived up to the hype! AI featured heavily within automotive and mobility generally this year. Autonomous vehicles and therefore the tech to deliver the user experience were highly visible. From small last-mile delivery vehicles and self-powering (solar panel roofs) EVs to self-driving party cars/cabs and BMWs that can change color with your mood, and clothes and more importantly perhaps signal if cars are turning or breaking down. Imagine broken down cars becoming traffic signals to warn other road users!

So as users become more accepting and comfortable with how AI interacts with their lives so these innovations will play a more significant role in connecting humans to their regular spaces and habits. Automating many currently abstract or sub conscious decisions. This is perhaps the long-term reality of the Metaverse for the majority of us.  

#4 Health & Social Welfare 

Where AI was offering tangible use case scenarios of genuine value was in the area of health and social care. Devices that can be a discrete, non-invasive part of your life. They will check physical and mental health and supply information and connect professionals and care networks, if needed. The combination of AI and Robotics within this area will be a significant part of the fabric of social and health care with a rapidly aging population and the failing healthcare systems. Biometric data and AI can also be developed to link emotions with experiences and creating truly personalized suggestions from business. Maybe it’s time for Amazon and Google to realize that their AI bots are better served in aiding human connectivity and not the tedious conduit for buying more junk and eavesdropping on key words for use with badly targeted advertising.  

So, what does a business event and marketing team need to learn from CES23? There are THREE key takeaways, and it doesn’t matter which industry you are in or what you are selling. These are trends you need to be onboard with or you will stand out like a sore thumb. No brand wants that! 

  1. Think and act sustainably – From design and build to takedown and recycle. What materials are you using and how can you reduce the carbon footprint of all that you do?  
  1. Layer tech, narrative & theatre to tell a story – Work with the crowd from the outside, draw in the enthusiastic and create layered AR and VR experiences that will enthrall.  
  1. Personalization – Events do not start at the invitation. You need to ensure the messaging and experience is multi-faceted. Think about the 4 generations that are now in a workplace and how they all need to experience your message and deliver accordingly. The tech is coming to identify individual desires and likes… so you need to think about how to adapt the experience for personal preferences.  

For over 40 years we have helped clients navigate the sea of change. Staying ahead of the curve is a way of life for us so we can help reduce the fear and anxiety of that change and ensure you work with hero ideas and not empty hype!