CES 2018: They probably wished they’d gotten the smaller booth

This is one of the things I love about CES, and it’s one of the most popular articles of the year. See, even though booths at CES are ridiculously expensive, there are still a few companies that get way too optimistic, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for space that no one goes to. I feel sad for them, but at the same time there’s always a little chuckle as, just as the title says, someone in some hidden room is saying, “we probably should have gotten the smaller booth.”

Before I start one more time, I’ll give the typical disclaimer. These photos were taken about 11am on a day the show was open. It wasn’t during the power failure or even just after it. I snapped these at a time when other booths were humming along. This year it was a little harder to know who to feature because the show in general hasn’t been as well attended so there were plenty of empty spaces where in past years there would have been wall to wall people.

Ready? Let’s go.

Start with the top picture. What if you gave a concert and no one came? Monster was blasting the music trying to get people to dance. Only problem – no people. This isn’t the first time I’ve had them on the list, and I hate to think how many $100 power strips they had to sell to get a booth this size.

Jasco is a newcomer to the list. They distribute Philips, Energizer, and other brands you typically find at the drugstore. They put out a ot of dough for a spot near one of the entrances and … it didn’t pay off.

Oh Panasonic, what to do with you. This was only about half of Panasonic’s booth, which was absolutely huge this year. While it did eventually fill up later in the day, at midday it had pretty much no one because… there wasn’t much to see there. The brand, once dominant in the US, isn’t seen on consumer goods much, and… well… this is a consumer electronics show.

Remember TiVo? The darling of the early-2000s home theater circuit is still alive and kicking, but I guess they’re not kicking real hard. They still make equipment for the diehard DVR lover but really they want to tell you about licensing. They really don’t belong on this list because they had about the smallest booth you could get, but since it was still totally empty I had to put them in. Poor TiVo. Hey, Justin Timberlake came back and he was big in 2002 too… maybe there’s still hope for you.

The winner and still champion ladies and gentlemen! The only entrant to make it to the list six consecutive times is Casio. Drag out your calculator watches and cheesy keyboards because Casio is “in da house!” This year they were trying to tell you all about Android Wear watches because, yeah, that’s a thing. They always have a prime spot near the front of the hall and I always visit because the carpet is nice and soft on the feet. They also have plenty of open seating any time of the day and they don’t care if you sit there and eat lunch.

That does it for another edition of “They probably wished they’d gotten the smaller booth….” see you again next year, Casio!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.