CES didn't disappoint

We hope you had a chance to read some of our live coverage from CES 2009 last week. Of course, there wasn't nearly enough time to cover everything that needed to be covered, which is why you'll see us writing more about CES throughout the week.

CES veterans and Las Vegas cabbies may have been complaining about fewer truly amazing gadgets and lower show attendance, respectively, but this was no quaint event. The aisles were jammed every hour the doors were open, and I didn't see too many people who looked bored. Also, over the course of two and a half days, I felt I barely saw one quarter of what the Las Vegas and Sands convention centers had to offer.

I can't imagine even a couple more days would have allowed me to see everything. If ever there was a show built for social networking dynamics, it is CES. It is certainly massive and tries to be all things to all people, but it was apparent last week that your best bet to navigate the event was to find people with like-minded interests and talk to them about what they had seen and still wanted to see. And it was easier than you would think to identify your own niche community among the throngs. I don't think I have ever been at a trade show before last week where the simple questions "Have you seen anything interesting?" or "What's the big news at the show?" didn't come off as polite but empty-headed conversation. At CES, those questions were asked with genuine interest, and in most cases, they were met with genuinely-interested answers.

The economy certainly will not be kind to big trade shows this year, but CES offered a broad look at all of the different consumer and product niches that are touched by telecom networks and services. It may have not been the biggest and best CES, but it wasn't bad. Check back throughout the week for more CES-related coverage as we continue to peruse our notes from the show.