- The line may already be forming in Las Vegas for the big event Sunday, the last performance of the Bill Gates roadshow before his role as chief visionary ends.
The Microsoft chairman will continue making speeches and drawing crowds at conferences, capitals and campuses around the world.
But there's nothing like the rock-star treatment of his annual opening-night keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
By starting the show with talks on the future of consumer technology, Gates set the forward-looking tone of a bazaar where retailers learn what they'll sell in the coming years.
The speeches are more like Vegas shows than lectures, with elaborate sets, videos and celebrity appearances jazzing up the talk about gadgets and industry trends.
Usually only a few thousand of the 150,000 or so attendees get in, so there's always a huge line snaking through the lobby, grumbling as VIPs and industry leaders are led past the barricades and police to seats in front.
Gates will not return for the 2009 keynote, after he cuts back on Microsoft work this summer and dedicates more time to philanthropy.
A spokesman said he may continue to attend the show, however, and there's always a possibility he'll return for a keynote farther down the road.