Many people spend the entire week at CES trolling the three main halls occupied by such companies as Samsung, LG and Sony. They all have huge booths--Samsung took the cake with 2,500 square feet--and tons of products to fill them.
But the international hall in the Hilton is far more interesting. It's populated by hundreds of small companies grouped by nationality. Most are from Asia, but there are also sections for Denmark and Australia.
First, there is the sheer variety of names: Best Rainbow Technology (appliances), Billionton Systems (LCD panels), Nice Fountain Industrial (cables), Millionway International Industrial (GPS parts, I think), Harmonious Key Classic, Evermore Technology (no ravens in booth), and Chiefdom Electronics are some of the names.
In the Taiwan Area, Good Way Technology Co. Limited is just a few booths away from Good Man Corp. (Zippy Technology separates them). Nearby is Action Star Enterprises (batteries).
Second, it's here where you see the aggressiveness to leap on a new trend. Nintendo put out the Wii only a few months ago, and Esel, a Canadian-Chinese company, has already developed a line of paddles. On display at the show, the company has a light gun, a golf club, a tennis racket and a steering wheel.
Third, you get to see deals get made. Nearly every one of these booths has a card table, and any hour of the day you can walk by and see people negotiating for passive capacitors or cable housings.
Fourth, even though you've probably never heard of most of these companies, you probably own a bunch of their products.