If there’s an inopportune place for a power outage to occur, it’s CES, an event filled with TVs, appliances and all kinds of other gadgets fueled by electricity.
Yesterday, a section of the huge Las Vegas trade show faced a blackout thanks to heavy rainfall in the desert city the day before. Oh, the irony!
Beginning at 11:15 a.m. the power went out in the Central Hall and South Hall bridge meeting rooms in the Las Vegas Convention Center. While power was restored in the South Hall within minutes, it took around two hours for the Central Hall to escape the darkness.
“A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility’s transformers,” the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, NV Energy and Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said in a joint statement.
While I was a few blocks away in the Sands Expo & Convention Center when it happened, I followed along on Twitter and kept my fingers crossed that other buildings would not suffer the same fate.
Attendees, exhibitors and even the CTA itself expressed a range of sentiments related to the #CESBlackout. Social media analytics company Crimson Hexagon parsed Twitter data and found that, by Thursday morning, nearly 4,200 tweets had been posted about relating to the incident. According to an email I received the company, 53.8 percent of those tweets can be characterized by joy, 18.9 percent by anger and 17.8 percent by sadness.
In other words, most people got a kick out of it. That is, despite that fact that many exhibitors, who invested thousand of dollars to be at CES, lost power to their products as well as valuable face time with attendees. Some attendees even lost power themselves, such as those who were charging their phones in lockers when the outage struck and could not retrieve their devices.
— Mike Murphy is at CES (@mcwm) January 10, 2018
Here’s a sample of tweets that capture the emotions that were swirling and ways people coped during the CES blackout — as well as a fair share of jokes to make light of the lack of light, even from brands.
— Intel (@intel) January 10, 2018
— Colin Vassallo (@ColinVassallo) January 10, 2018
— Brian Lent (@BrianLent1) January 10, 2018
— Vinotecture (@vinotecture) January 10, 2018
— Ty Pendlebury (@typendlebury) January 10, 2018
If you are in Central Hall, please go save the Sony Aibos. Without power these guys will be dead in two hours. Sarah McLachlan has prepared you for this moment. pic.twitter.com/y6uxqDAZEo
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) January 10, 2018
— ISPNtweets (@ISPNtweets) January 10, 2018
— Texas Instruments (@TXInstruments) January 10, 2018
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) January 10, 2018
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) January 10, 2018
Welcome to the darkness. We hope you find it enlightening. https://t.co/eTKVpDxk8n
— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) January 10, 2018
— The Ringer (@ringer) January 11, 2018
And when the power was restored:
We have confirmation that #CES2018 is indeed lit
— CES (@CES) January 10, 2018