SAN FRANCISCO and LAS VEGAS: Two of the biggest events in the technology industry are facing a head-on collision next year.
In 2007, the Consumer Electronics Show and Macworld will both be held during the second week of January. The question isn't whether the conflicting dates will create problems; it's a matter of how big they will be.
"When you think about what the media are going to go through, no one seems to be taking that into account," said Rhonda Shantz, Porter Novelli's technology practice leader. "This is going to make it really hard for the journalist community."
As many of the biggest names in tech journalism attend both shows, many will be torn over which show to attend and when.
"We're going to survey the media, and look at how we can better meet their needs," says Tara Dunion, director of communications for CES. "In the next few month we're going to listen to their concerns."
Macworld is traditionally held the second week of January, while CES is during the first or second week.
With the success of iPod and the Disney/Pixar merger, most eyes will be on CEO Steve Job's keynote address at Macworld, and not on CES that morning.
"The media will have to send twice as many people, or split up everyone's time," says New York Times columnist David Pogue. "This will certainly cause discomfort and missed opportunities all around. The smart companies are strategizing now."
As Apple never provides a sneak preview of announcements, more companies will race to make their announcements before Jobs takes the stage at Macworld, so their news doesn't get buried in an Apple avalanche of news, added Pogue.
But the CES keynotes are not what journalists are after, says Bob Angus, president and managing partner of A&R Partners. They access to executives and that will continue to be a major attraction for the major media to attend CES.