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February 2, 2023
By Joe Affsprung, Global Business Development Manager
Held each January in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the most influential tech event in the world, and the largest trade show in Vegas. It showcases innovative products, as well as manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, delivery systems and more. I had the privilege of experiencing this 150,000-person event, along with two other regional alliances, the SC Department of Commerce and Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research. We spent two full days meeting with a dozen prospective companies having great conversation about why Charleston would be an ideal place for their next investment. We perused thousands of exhibition booths and got a sense of the trends shaping the consumer electronics industry in 2023.
Several themes stood out to me throughout my conversations and exploration. The first is that supply chain efficiency still looms large in the industry’s mind. Our prospects were eager to ask us how efficient our port and logistics network is, and if it might offer them a way to escape headaches of the northeast and west coast port environments. Secondly, the medical industry was well-represented, and health personalization had a noticeable presence. It seemed that every other booth offered some new way of using data to personalize vitamins, supplements, exercise regimens, warnings and monitors for all manner of diseases and conditions. Health care designed by individualized bioinformatics looks to be a quickly emerging industry trend. Finally, I felt the degree to which available lab space will be a major determinant of regional success in the medical/life sciences industries. Foreign companies we spoke with in these fields are ready to establish themselves in the USA’s massive consumer/health care market, but are frustrated by the lack of new lab resources available to them in almost all metros, except those with a well-established life science industry cluster.
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