The annual Consumer Electronics Show is the largest computer, technology, and gadget show on earth, and it has become the world’s biggest stage for tech companies to announce and release new products. This year’s show officially runs from January 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. TechRepublic is at the show and will provide video, photos, and commentary on the latest announcements and trends and what they mean for IT departments, businesses, and the future of work and play for IT professionals.

I will be covering the big picture of what’s happening at CES and the overall trends of the tech industry. My colleagues Bill Detwiler and Shawn Morton are also here at CES. Bill will be covering developments in hardware, including mobile, wireless, desktops, laptops, and gadgets. Shawn will be covering consumer electronics, home theater, and digital lifestyle developments. You can follow all of our CES coverage on the page Special Report: CES 2008.

CNET CES People ChoiceOur sister site is also providing coverage of CES for consumers and the general public. CNET’s coverage will culminate in the Best of CES Awards and the CES People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday. You can vote in the People’s Choice Awards online or via text message starting at 10:30 AM Eastern on Tuesday (January 8).

Here are a few statistics to help you get an idea of the scope of CES 2008:

  • There are over 140,000 attendees.
  • Attendees come from over 140 different countries, which translates into 75% of the countries in the United Nations.
  • There 25,000 attendees from outside the U.S. — that’s 10 times the number of athletes who competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy.
  • There are over 2,700 exhibitors.
  • The exhibition space is the equivalent of 35 football fields.

Just to put this in perspective, most of the conferences in the IT and business technology space are considered “big” when they have about 10,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors.