CES 2018, An Event All About Consumer Electronics, Hit By Major Blackout


Large swaths of the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center lost power at about 11:15 a.m. local time, shutting down brightly lit company booths and darkening rooms used by hundreds of journalists covering CES.

Regardless of the difficulties that the annual convention seems to be facing this year, companies and tech giants continue to be thrilled with the overall theme, with smart lights and speakers soaring to popularity. If you've never attended, you don't need much to make the most of CES-just some interesting new technology, a few good friends, and a healthy helping of Las Vegas showmanship.

Some publicists even tried to exploit the power outage. "We are working hard to resolve this and appreciate your patience", the event's official Twitter account said. "This is a major buzz kill", one officer said as he strolled through the Central exhibit hall.

Update: Things appear to have gone from bad to worse.

Thousands of keen analysts, media and buyers were also kept from entering the Convention Centre's North Hall, which connected to the powerless section.

(12:45PM PT) NV Energy is on the case. This resulted in attendees getting led out of the affected areas until power could be restored. "If our extension cord went over there we'd be out of power".

(2:13PM PT) According to the CTA, the culprit was, in fact, the rain.

"A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility's transformers", said a statement from the Consumer Technology Association, which runs the event. While power within the South Hall was restored minutes later, it took two hours to fully restore power in the Central Hall, with conference organisers confirming on Twitter at 1.09pm that power was slowly being rolled out in the Central Hall.