By Harry McCracken | Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm
Most of the 150,000 or so people who will attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week are executives and other staffers from companies in the tech industry: hardware makers, service providers, and retailers. Several thousand other attendees are mediafolk like me: reporters, bloggers, and analysts.
And the third most-represented group? It may well be celebrities. They’re one of the most surefire ways to attract attention to a booth or a party, and so the companies exhibiting at the show bring them to Vegas by the truckload.
Some of the well-known people in attendance actually are into tech stuff: LeVar Burton, who I once had a pleasant chat with at a Monster party, is as much of a gearhead as you and me. Others are presumably there purely because they’re being handsomely compensated, (Not that that’s necessarily bad: The best thing that ever happened to me at a Las Vegas trade show was seeing Ray Charles perform, brilliantly, at an otherwise mundane WordPerfect party at a mid-1990s COMDEX.)
The Consumer Electronics Association, which organizes CES, has released a list of “celebrity guests” who’ll be at this year’s event. And here they are. (If the names don’t all sound familiar, don’t feel bad–I didn’t know who some of them were until just now, either.)
Who is he? The “acclaimed rapper.”
What’s he doing at CES? Fitty “will sign autographs from 3-4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, Wednesday, January 11 and Thursday, January 12 for his new audio company, SMS Audio, which combines technology, function and style to bring the highest caliber of sound, comfort and fashion to every product, at their booth (LVCC, South Hall, #20818). He’ll also be on hand to discuss his new line of wireless headphones with the editors of TechCrunch at the AOL Studio (LVCC, Grand Lobby) on Wednesday, January 11 from 12-12:30 p.m.”
Who is he? A “Grammy-nominated platinum pop megastar,” apparently.
What’s he doing at CES? The Bieb’ll “be appearing with TOSY Robotics at this year’s CES. Justin Bieber is helping TOSY unveil their new innovative entertainment robot at the their booth which is located in the Robotics TechZone of the LVCC South Hall ground level (#21964, 21968, 22064, 22066 and 22068) on Wednesday, January 11 from 1-3 p.m.”
Who are they? Wayne is an “Emmy winner and Grammy nominated actor, singer…known for his work as a regular on the American version of comedy television series ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Greg is “best known for his starring role on the NBC television series ‘Heroes’.”
What are they doing at CES? They’ll “join OnStar for their Tweet House sessions, the official social media track for CES, on Wednesday, January 11 from 1-5 p.m. in N254, North Hall. Greg and Wayne will also attend OnStar’s “It Won’t Stay in Vegas” party on Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Stirling Club.”
Who are they? All the CEA says is that they’re “legendary” and play “real music.”
What are they doing at CES? They’ll perform at Monster’s “annual Retailer Awards and Concert…on Wednesday, January 11 at the Paris Hotel.” (Hey, does anybody know what time it is?)
Who is he? An “urban music pioneer.”
What’s he doing at CES? ” He’ll “perform at iHip’s celebration on Tuesday evening” along with with Mas Flow, El Verdadero Quimico, Luny Tunes, and DJ Nelson, “and will be signing autographs at the booth on Thursday, January 12.”
Who is she? Dushku “rose to fame with her role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series Angel. She is also known for her starring role in the network series, Tru Calling and Dollhouse, as well as roles in True Lies, Bring it On, This Boy’s Life, Wrong Turn and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.”
What’s she doing at CES? She’s CES’s “Entertainment Matters Ambassador…As part of her ambassadorship, Dushku will contribute to Spike TV’s ‘CES All Access Live’ broadcast coverage from 12:30-1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, and she will also host the network’s exclusive VIP CES party that evening at Tryst Nightclub in the Wynn Las Vegas.”
Who are they? “Top Australian musicians.” (Disclaimer: An Australian friend of mine who’s a fan of Eliza Dushku and Alistair Overeem isn’t familiar with these guys.)
What are they doing at CES? “Playing at Audiofly’s booth (LVCC, South Hall, #26728) at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day.”
Who is she? A “cookbook author and creator of The Wooden Spoon cooking school.”
What’s she doing at CES? She “will give a cooking demo and make daily appearances at Haier’s booth from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on both Wednesday, January 11 and Thursday, January 12.”
Who are they? Horry is a “seven-time NBA Champion and current sports commentator” and “one of only two players to have won NBA championships with three different teams.” Salley is “the first NBA player to win four championships with three different teams.”
What are they doing at CES? They will be appearing at Haier America’s “booth from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11.”
Who are they? “The all-male, hip-hop dance crew best known for winning season one of MTV’s ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’ and headliner at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, making them the first and only dance crew to headline their own show in Las Vegas.”
What are they doing at CES? They’ll be “opening Qualcomm’s keynote address, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 10 in the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom.”
Who are they? Glen, Campbell, and Apted are “critically acclaimed directors” who have helmed from one to five James Bond movies apiece; Kurylenko and Caterina Muterino are “former Bond girls.”
What are they doing at CES? The directors are there for a panel to “kick off the 50th anniversary of MGM’s James Bond on Tuesday, January 10 at 1:30 p.m. at Panasonic’s booth (LVCC, Central Hall, #9806).” Kurylenko and Muterino “will be on hand for a special presentation that will include props from the legendary film franchise.”
Who is he? “Star of the hit CBS drama NCIS.”
What’s he doing at CES? He’s introducing “exciting new technology from Boomdizzle on the CNET stage (LVCC, South Hall Lobby) on Tuesday, January 10 at approximately 2 p.m. In addition, LL COOL J will make a public appearance at the Dolby Booth (Central Hall – #8153) on Tuesday, January 10th at 4 p.m. to demo a track he created using Boomdizzle, playing it back on a Dolby technology-enabled laptop to a full home-theater surround sound system.”
Who is she? An “inspirational television personality and fitness guru.”
What’s she doing at CES? “From 10:30-11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 10, Michaels will discuss the impact of digital innovation and her recent partnership with BodyMedia, an on-body monitor company.”
Who is she? Jamie is “one of southern California’s most requested models” who’s “been modeling for the past nine years for online and commercial print work, calendars and swimsuit fashion shows, and has worked with famous photographers such as Ladi Van Jansky and Mike Prado. ”
What’s she doing at CES? She will be “representing automotive audio company Powerbass USA, Inc.”
Who is he? The famous “three-time World Champion Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter and winner of the recent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight bout.”
What’s he doing at CES? Overeem “will battle against Qualcomm executives and media in mobile MMA fight games, including “Fight Game Heroes” at Qualcomm’s booth (LVCC, South Hall, #30313) at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11 and 12 p.m. on Thursday, January 12.”
Who is he? The “NBA Hall of Fame player.”
What’s he doing at CES? He’s “representing Paltalk, a service that allows users to explore the online world of chat sites with community chat rooms and cool webcam technology that lets you see and be seen. Dennis will make an appearance at Paltalk’s booth (LVCC, South Hall, #26915) from 2-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 12.
Who is he? A “recording artist, composer, producer and performer.”
What’s he doing at CES? He “will be representing iConnectivity at CES, demonstrating software applications from Wizdom Music including their innovative Sample Wiz and Geo Synth applications, and connecting his iPad to his musical gear with iConnectMIDI, the ultimate MIDI interface.”
Who is she? Miss America!
What’s she doing at CES? She “will walk the CES show floor from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 10,” for unspecified reasons. (Side note: She’s only Miss America until the Saturday after the show, when her successor will be crowned at Planet Hollywood on the Strip.)
Who is she? Why, she’s “best known for her role on the most talked about reality TV show Jersey Shore.”
What’s she doing at CES? She’ll “make a guest appearance and sign autographs at iHip’s booth (LVCC, South Hall, #21920) from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10 and will also host iHip’s new line and 2012 collaboration celebration on Tuesday evening from 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. at the Gallery at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.”
Who is he? A “world-reknowned graffiti artist.”
What’s he doing at CES? He’ll be at Audiofly’s booth “creating some of his artwork.”
That’s the official roster. I’m sure it’s incomplete, and it doesn’t include notable names from the tech industry, such as Steve Ballmer–who’s more famous than most of the people here.
There’s nobody on the CEA’s list that I’m going to go out of my way to meet. But if I happen to get on an elevator and find Justin Bieber or Snooki there, I’ll let you know…