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ZDNET's guide to CES 2024: What is it, when is it, and who can attend?

The annual tech trade show, CES, is back for another year where we'll see some of the most impressive tech reveals of the year. We take a closer look at exactly what CES is, when it's taking place, and who can attend.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
CES 2024 AI

CES 2024 will largely focus on AI, with an "All ON" thematic. Even the CES imagery appears to be AI-generated.


What is CES?

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a massive annual event where some of the most transformative technology makers and innovators show off their latest and greatest releases. The show began in 1967 in New York City as a bi-annual event until the late 1990s. In recent years, the formerly transient show has settled into Las Vegas as its home, typically at the Las Vegas Convention Center and other nearby hotels. 

The only gap in the long-running string of shows happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, as CES 2021 was held as an exclusively digital event for the first time in its history. CES 2020 happened just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world and was a successful event with about 140,000 attendees.

Also: CES 2024: What's Next in Tech

The event returned to in-person status in 2022, but concerns over surging COVID-19 infection rates led many exhibitors to cancel, and the show ended one day earlier than initially planned. CES 2022 hosted only 45,000 attendees, a stark contrast from pre-pandemic times. 

In 2023, CES was once again at full, in-person capacity, housing major reveals from companies like Samsung, Acer, Asus, HTC, Lenovo, and more. CES 2023 included about 115,000 attendees and vendors from 174 countries spread across 41 separate technology areas.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) expects to host about 130,000 people for CES 2024.


The  West Hall of CES during a previous year's convention.


Where will CES 2024 take place?

CES 2024 will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Venetian Expo, and the Aria Resort & Casino. The CTA is offering complimentary transportation from some participating Las Vegas hotels via the Tech Express and C Space shuttles.

Also: LG's newest OLED TVs will use AI to look and sound better than ever

Tech companies also hold exclusive suite meetings at various hotels during CES, but these hotel room meetings are typically reserved for members of the press.

A CES sign over the show floor
CNET/Sarah Tew

When is CES 2024?

CES 2024 officially runs from Tuesday, Jan. 9, through Friday, Jan. 12. There will be two in-person Media Days open exclusively to members of the press on Jan. 7 and 8. You can expect many exhibitors to make most of their announcements when the show opens on Tuesday.

Is CES 2024 open to the public?

No, CES is not open to the public. The CTA describes CES as a "trade-only event for individuals 18 years of age or older and affiliated with the consumer technology industry." 

Also: Roku premium TVs with improved picture and audio coming this spring

All attendees must fall into one of three categories: industry attendee, media, or exhibitor, and they must show proof of their eligibility for one of these categories. Proof of eligibility can be a business card or proof of employment at an eligible company for industry attendees, a list of published articles for a media attendee, or other forms of acceptable proof.

Eligibility for exhibitors is handled through sales representatives.

Full details on exactly who is eligible to attend and how they can prove their eligibility can be found on the CES registration page

RYO Alexandre / Shutterstock

Is it hard to get into CES?

How hard it is to get into CES depends on whether or not you're employed by a participant in the consumer electronics industry, whether that be an exhibitor, a company in the industry, or part of the media.

Also: LG's new CineBeam Qube is a 4K projector that's unlike anything I've ever seen

For those that don't fall into any of the aforementioned categories, it is still possible to attend if the individual in question is at least connected to consumer electronics in some way. This connection can be as vague as having been quoted in a consumer electronics news piece or verification of the individual having been cited as an "industry professional" within the past year.

A list of CES exhibitors' logos

Just a small sampling of this year's featured exhibitors.


Who is attending CES 2024?

Though the list of CES exhibitors is too long to include here, the CTA has 311 Fortune Global 500 companies and 38 of the top global retailers registered to participate in the event. CES has a full directory of exhibitors on its website

Many of the biggest consumer electronics companies attending CES are showcasing new technologies and products, but even some of the companies that aren't releasing new products will be in attendance. 

Also: Look out, Apple: Qualcomm's new VR chip competes directly with Vision Pro, with much cheaper headsets

CES 2024 will feature chipmakers like Intel, AMD, and Nvidia; mobile and home electronics companies like Samsung, Google, LG, and Amazon; PC makers like Asus, and HP; and even numerous automakers like BMW. 

How much are CES 2024 tickets?

As mentioned above, registration for any CES 2024 ticket has specific eligibility requirements. If you are eligible, there are two tiers of tickets

  • The Exhibits Plus Pass - $350: Includes everything in the Digital-Only Pass, as well as access to all in-person CES programming on show days. In-person access includes the exhibit floor, keynotes, Great Minds sessions, and select conference programming. 
  • The Deluxe Conference Pass - $1,700: Includes everything in the Exhibits Plus Pass, as well as four days of CES conference programming, consisting of over 100 sessions, and all partner programming. 

Registrants can also add certain additional passes through the CTA website, like show floor tours, individual conference tracks, and becoming recipients of the Inside CES 2024: Trends and Takeaways report.

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