Before Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer jumps onstage to deliver the second day keynote, CEA President Gary Shapiro is trying to rally the troops but drops this bomb: The industry's gonna shrink this year. The industry has only shrunk three other times in the last four years—it's grown every other year. 2008, even, saw 5.4 percent growth. This year, it's gonna fall off at least 0.6 percent they're estimating.
A bizarre clip meshing him into classic black-and-white flicks intro'd the speech, telling us how gadget companies are gonna save us from the Great Depression 2.0. It was made using a new service called Yoostar that'll let you desecrate old movies by embedding yourself into them, along with other warped personalizations. Shapiro gets pretty cutting: Gadget companies are bright light, not just because they're gonna breathe life into the economy , but they don't need no bailouts like certain other industries, dammit. But even that light's looking pretty dim this year.
Gary Shapiro loves some Obama, talking about how tech-loving he is, and how he needs to promote tech growth and innovation to keep America on top in tech (We're on top? Really?). But he has no love for other politicians stepping in to make rules about technology. They've got some innovation checklist (pictured) for dumbo politicians to follow so they don't hose the whole industry, and therefore, Shapiro says, America.
Hahahaha, he's talking about how trade shows matter more than ever in crappy economies, and how it actually saves money for companies. I thought saving money is why companies have been pulling back on their trade show explosivganza.
Overall, it's not a pretty picture for the industry when its cheerleader-in-chief lays out how grim stuff is, even if it's mixed with pillowy clouds of fluff about how great the industry is.