CES 2018: Trade Show to Launch Safety and Alerting App Amid Other New Security Measures

At the massive sprawl of CES next month, attendees will have a new way to stay informed — and be able to alert the show’s organizers about emergencies.

The Consumer Technology Association, which owns and produces CES, will launch a new safety and notifications app for the 2018 show, which runs Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas. The app, called LiveSafe, “will allow attendees to report things quicker… and help them get in touch with somebody,” said Karen Chupka, CTA’s SVP of events.

LiveSafe will be available to download from Apple’s App Store or Google Play later this month, and will go live on Dec 31. CTA describes it as a safety app for people attending CES 2018 to get information, report tips and contact security.

The new app will be separate from the main CES App, which provides info on events and conference sessions, exhibitors and map of the show floors. That’s “partly because not everyone downloads the show app,” Chupka explained. It’s intended to not only enhance security but also let CES showgoers see or report info like, say, whether an escalator is down or if they’ve lost their bag, she added.

The alerting app is part of other new security measures for CES 2018. This year, CTA is requiring a “unique, verifiable email address” for each registrant. In addition, CES badges will now include a mandatory photo ID for attendees and media, although that’s optional for exhibitors.

As in past years, CES 2018 will have armed security, bomb-sniffing dogs, bag inspections and a limit on the size of bags allowed on the floor.

Security concerns remain top-of-mind for CES organizers, as they have for producers of other big events and conventions. For Las Vegas specifically, CES 2018 will be held a little more than three months after the Oct. 1 mass shooting at a music festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino that left 58 dead and hundreds injured.

Overall, CTA expects CES 2018 to be approximately the same size as this past year’s confab, with 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space. About 4,000 exhibitors are expected to line the aisles, and CES’s Eureka Park Marketplace startup area will expand from 600 exhibitors to more than 800.

Current attendance projections are ranging from 170,000 to 185,000, including more than 60,000 attendees outside U.S., Chupka said. (The 2017 CES registered 184,279 attendees.)

Of interest to attendees in media and entertainment, the show will again feature C Space, a conference area centered on content and marketing at the Aria Resort and Casino. (Disclosure: Variety is a partner with CES, holding the Variety Entertainment Summit at C-Space on Jan. 10.) Companies exhibiting or holding meetings at C Space include A+E Networks, Accenture, Google, Hearst, NBC, Nielsen, Spotify and Snapchat.

C Space was created because media, entertainment and advertising companies needed a venue separate from CES’s traditional show floor, Chupka said.

“These are not necessarily companies with products they need to exhibit,” she said. “Where we’re seeing growth is in companies holding face-to-face meetings.” C Space also features “Storytellers” sessions with speakers from companies including Google, Facebook, and Verizon’s Oath, as well as a new track for 2018 on music and technology, which CTA is producing in association with UTA.

Also on the media front, CES 2018 will feature a keynote panel with Hulu CEO Randy Freer and Turner CEO John Martin on Jan. 10. In recent days, however, CTA has taken heat for having an all-male keynote lineup at the convention — for the second year in a row.

Also worth noting is the CES Sports Zone, a four-day conference program with sports-themed content. Sponsored by Turner Sports, the Sports Zone will include a live ELeague showcase and TNT’s “Inside the NBA” studio team — Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal — live from the show floor.

Pictured above: Show attendees at CES 2017 in Las Vegas

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