Good news for the electronics and tech industries, at least if this marquee event is any indication of the upcoming year in retail spending on consumer gear. Organizers have announced the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which just came to a close in Las Vegas drew 140,000 industry professionals.

That preliminary figure provided by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) represents about a 17% y/y increase, and marks the highest attendance at the influential show in the last three years.

“The 2011 International CES was a phenomenal worldwide event that spanned global industries including technology, automotive and entertainment markets,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA.

“This global technology gathering featured more innovation, more news, more social media buzz and more international attendance than any other show in CES history.”

Other numbers released today by the Consumer Electronics Association revealed that 30,000 attendees came from outside the United States and that 22 top CEOs participating in keynotes, including: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Verizon’s Ivan Seidenberg, Audi’s Rupert Stadler, Samsung’s Boo-Keun Yoon, Ford’s Alan Mulally, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Cisco’s John Chambers, Xerox’s Ursula Burns and GE’s Jeffrey Immelt.

These executives were joined onstage by leaders spanning various industries including Comcast’s Brian Roberts, Time Warner Cable’s Glenn Britt, Dreamworks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg and Hulu’s Jason Kilar.

Organizers also noted that the 2011 CES created “phenomenal buzz” in the social media world with more than 158,000 CES-related tweets since Monday, January 3, and more than 11,000 page views on CEA’s Digital Dialogue blog.