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Geeks can party, too! CES electrifies Vegas nightlife

Two very different trade shows are coming to town this week that share an undeniably strong and common bond: the Internet.

Nerds and porn go together like peanut butter and jelly in this increasingly digital world we live in. Neither would be what it is today if it weren’t for the Web.

And as luck would have it, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the annual Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) run right on top of one another: CES takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, from Jan. 8 to 11 and AEE runs from the 9th through Sunday.

The odd couple of tradeshows even shares a venue: while most of CES takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, certain aspects of the show will, coincidentally enough, be showcased at the Sands Expo Center – which the very same building that hosts AEE.

Regardless of what they use the Internet for or why they love high-def TVs, convention-goers to both shows are expected to shift gears, from tradeshow floor to dance floor, after the exhibition hall doors close at night.

Indeed, when the convention days end the parties will begin.

Despite sluggish sales, a weakening economy, and lower-than-last-year numbers expected at both shows, a wide assortment of happy hours, ballroom fetes, and all-out blow-outs are about to take place.

Unfortunately, most of the CES parties are like the show itself: Closed to the public.

While CES starts off strong, the tech party set comes to a soft close, with just a pair of house parties (that aren’t even worth mentioning, never mind attending) on Saturday night. It seems even the geekiest CES party planners know there is no competing with the AVN Adult Movie Awards, which will take place over at Mandalay Bay on Jan. 10.

Here is a sampling of what are expected to be among the biggest and best CES-related parties:

Wednesday:

- The 60th annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards. This is the third year the awards will be handed out at CES and the ceremony will be held at the Venetian in Lido Ballroom 3101 at 7 p.m.

- TechZone, Futurelooks and Techware Labs’s “Night Before CES Party,” sponsored by Redux and Gigabyte. The exclusive invite-only soirée kicks off at 8 p.m. in a Palms Place penthouse and, according to the TechZone Web site, is “way overbooked … so if you’re not on the invite list, please don’t try to crash it.”

Thursday:

- G4TV’s “Best of the Best” CES party from 6 until 7:30 p.m. at the Wynn’s in the “Latour” ballroom. Invite only.

- Skype’s “Blue is the New Black” party from 7 until 10 p.m. at Privé. It, too, is closed to the public.

- The first ever Global Media Awards at the Venetian’s “Bellini” ballroom. Nominees include CBS, NBC, FOX, BBC, Warner Brothers, YouTube, Sundance, Discovery, DIRECTV, BBDO, McCann Erikson, Bravo, MTV, Disney, The New York Times, Starz, Wieden + Kennedy, Ogilvy, ESPN, Sony, Turner, NASCAR, HSN and Scripps. Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas – who is nominated for his campaign video in support of president-elect Barack Obama – will be there but you won’t, unless you shell out some major dough for a ticket. “Discounted” passes for CES attendees start at $400. Our advice: If you go, go when the doors open, at 6 p.m., to take full advantage of the open bar before the awards start at 7 p.m.

Friday:

- Bloggerpalooza, aka the “It won’t stay in Vegas” blogger party at the Atomic Testing Museum from5 – 8 p.m. It is a closed event so if you don’t have an in, go complain about it on your blog.

- Intel and PC.com’s CES party at LAX. This is one of the few big CES parties that isn’t reserved for CES attendees only (or a select few invited guests). Brooke Burke will host the soirée and the Counting Crows will perform, cover applies.

- Monster Cable’s Dealer Awards and Concert with the Queen of Motown herself, Diana Ross. The show is being held at Paris but no tickets are being sold: Only specially-invited guests will get to take in the awards, which begin at 7 p.m., and see Ross’ 9 p.m. performance.

Complete Schedule:

Wednesday:

- The 60th annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards at the Venetian. 7 p.m.

- Pepcom Digital Experience at the Mirage. 7 – 10 p.m.

- TechZone, Futurelooks and Techware Labs’s “Night Before CES Party,” sponsored by Redux and Gigabyte at a Palms Place. 8 p.m., Invite only.

Thursday:

- G4TV’s “Best of the Best” CES party at the Wynn. 6 – 7:30 p.m., invite only.

- Skype’s “Blue is the New Black” party at Privé. 7 – 10 p.m., invite only.

- Global Media Awards at the Venetian. 6 p.m., $400+.

- Support.com’s third annual Rat Pack Party at the Bellagio. 6 -9:30 p.m., invite only.

Friday:

- The “It won’t stay in Vegas” blogger party at the Atomic Testing Museum. 5 – 8 p.m., invite only.

- The Hideka Honeywell Party at the Golden Nugget. 4:30 - 8:30 p.m., invite only.

- TWICE China’s 2009 Top Brands from China Awards at the Venetian. 5 – 7 p.m., invite only.

Venetian, Casanova Ballroom 504- Intel and PC.com’s CES party at LAX hosted by Brooke Burke, featuring the Counting Crows. 10:30 p.m., cover.

- CEA Digital Imaging Division Reception at CES. 5:30 – 7 p.m., invite only.

- Bluetooth SIG dinner at Tao. 5:30 – 8 p.m., invite only.

- Canada Night at Caesar’s Palace. 6p.m., invite only.

- Monster Cable’s Dealer Awards and Concert at Paris featuring Diana Ross. 7 p.m., invite only.

- D-Link party at Tao. 7 – 10 p.m., invite only.

- Resident Evil 5 cocktail reception at Planet Hollywood. 10 p.m., invite only.

Saturday:

- CES-themed Economic Stimulus party at the residence of Michael Terpin and Maxine Hopkinson. 6:30 – 10 p.m., RSVP required.

- Xtremesystems.org party on Oquendo Dr. near Decatur.

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Melissa Arseniuk

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