IntroductionAnother January and another CES show in Las Vegas, Nevada, has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Some 2,700 exhibitors pushed their wares in over 30 distinct categories. The exposition of the products and services were carried in the main convention centre, hotel suites up and down the strip, and in the Sands Expo Center that adjoins the ever-so-impressive Venetian and Palazzo hotel complex.
After traipsing around the halls and suites for five consecutive days and seeing technology from all and sundry, only two products stand out from the homogeneous me-too crowd. Samsung's 31in OLED TV with its brilliant colours and super-slim design - a harbinger of displays to come, I'm sure - and Alienware's curved screen that wowed crowds from day one. Indeed, the show was so vast that it was only possible to see a small fraction of what was being displayed.
Such is the sheer space available in the 1.2-million-square-foot Sands Expo Center and so popular is Las Vegas as a hosting city for industry-leading events, it's of no surprise that more than one exhibition takes place at any one time.
So what happens to all the redundant show area that's not being used in the second week of January, when the weary tech companies have packed up and made a beeline for the airport?
Fortunately for hacks that stay on a bit longer in Sin City, there's always the AVN (Adult Video News) Adult Entertainment Expo to look forward to. Starting on the day before CES finishes and carrying on through to this weekend, the multi-faceted show brings together an eclectic mix of distributors, producers, directors, and every Tom, Dick and Harry associated with the business - in order to facilitate trade and provide an under-one-roof networking environment.
But AVN is more than a trade-only show, though, as it also brings together the studio-contracted strutting macho stars and wide-eyed, heavy-bosomed starlets of the industry - letting their legions of fans get up close and quite personal with their heroes and heroines.
Having had the (mis)fortune of finding myself inexplicably registered and reporting on the show last year, there was nothing to do but do it again: it's a hard life but someone's got to do it, right?
Benjamin Franklin once remarked that 'in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes'. You can add the blue business to that iron-clad list of certainty, because as sure as night follows day, the industry's fans will flock to the show in droves. Indeed, the entrance to the Expo, via the Venetian hotel, dramatically changes from suit-wearing geeks to scantily-clothed starlets vying for your eyes' attention with gaits that come from a top-heavy disposition in most cases.
Once again, taking centre stage and arousing - well, perhaps that's the wrong word in this context - the most press attention was the irrepressible and hirsute god of the industry, Ron Jeremy. His acolytes come from far and wide to lay eyes on a man who's the epitome of the American Dream.
Lending his name and magnetism to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), old Jez isn't a bad sort. However, there are far more eye-catching visuals than Jez' moustache and belly to entertained by.
Ahem! Yes, quite. Let's move on to the next page. All I can promise is more imagery of scantily-glad girls.