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Nokia CES press conference invitation

LAS VEGAS – We’re counting down to the Nokia press conference – the event which will kick-start our coverage of this year’s 2012 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show).

From around 3pm (Pacific time) tomorrow, we’ll be posting all the news coming from that. And we’ll also be interested to see what Microsoft has to say here at the world’s largest tech show, later in the day.

The sheer scale of the event never fails to impress. Exhibition space covers 1.7 million net square feet – equivalent to more than 35 football fields and the show attracts more than 140,000 delegates from all over the world.

If you want to get really geeky about it, a person walking the carpeted aisles of the CES show floor would walk almost 15 miles – and burn up to1,500 calories.

Stars including 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Buffy actress Eliza Dushku and NBA Hall of Fame player Dennis Rodman are all here this year to promote products at the CES Convention Center and the show itself.

Apart from the Nokia press conference, one of the hottest tickets in town will be the VIPCES party, hosted by Dushku, on Tuesday evening at Tryst Nightclub in the Wynn hotel, where big names from across the tech world will meet up.

But the real stars of the CES are the amazing new gadgets and gizmos that go on to take the world by storm. Running since 1967, it has seen the first introduction of many of the most important innovations in consumer technology over the years.

Around 20,000 new products are launched every year. Landmark launches include the first VCR (1970), the first camcorder (1981), the Amiga computer (1984) and the original NES console (1985).

More recent years have seen the unveiling of the first HDTV, Blu-Ray discs and a slew of leading smartphones. Despite the name, CES isn’t open to the public.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at last year's CES

Rather, it’s where manufacturers unveil their latest wares to potential retailers and operators, and well as hordes of tech journalists (around 6500 journalists and bloggers attended last year).

We’re expecting more than 40,000 exhibitors alone this year. Nokia will be there in full force, of course, with its own stand (South 3 – 31409).

So don’t forget, the action starts here around 3pm on Monday, January 9th (Pacific Time).  So check back then to see what happens as it happens.