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Organized chaos: here's what it takes to build CES

Days before opening, the enormous show is a whirlwind of activity

Gallery Photo: CES 2013 construction photos
Gallery Photo: CES 2013 construction photos

For those who've never helped run a booth at a trade show, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that the temporary city — an endless sea of lights, sounds, and humans pressing past one another in search of the next great gadget — takes weeks to assemble before the first attendee even hits the floor. It's a choreographed symphony of thousands of laborers, installing everything from flooring to televisions to washing machines.

The Consumer Electronics Association, which runs CES, accompanied us on a tour of the show floor today to see exactly how the sausage is made. To put it mildly, it looks different than it will less than three days from now when the doors open. In fact, it's practically unrecognizable.

Be sure to compare these photos with the ones you see of the live show floor this week — they're both chaos, just very different kinds.

CES 2013 construction photos


Workers on lifts put the finishing touches on Samsung's booth, which has been under construction for a month.