The annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as it’s widely known, draws in hundreds of thousands of attendees from all over the world to Las Vegas each January to check out the latest innovations from both leading and emerging brands in consumer technology.
I’ve personally attended with Highwire PR for the past two shows, and such a massive event seems to yield new observations year after year. Check out the below phrases I’ve overheard*, and keep them in mind for a smooth and successful show.
*could have easily overheard
“Zedd was amazing, but I shouldn’t have slept in.”
There are a handful of after-party options every night of CES (and in Vegas year-round in general), and it’s great to take advantage and have fun while you’re there. However, for press purposes, it’s best to arrive at the show every morning as soon as the doors open to vendors. Reporters and broadcast producers are easier to scope out and more likely to agree to meeting/interviewing a subject at this early point in the day.
Pro tip: Head to the broadcast booth in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (Tech East) each morning to see what segments you might be able to line up for later in the day.
“Did you hear what Amazon announced?”
… Everyone probably did. CES is chock full of major brands executing grandiose activations and announcing major news. While this adds to the excitement of the show, it also makes it quite difficult for non-household name brands to break through the noise.
Pro tip: If you have news to announce, be quite discerning when deciding if CES is the right place to do it. If you have flexibility, try bumping consumer product news up a couple months to increase the odds of holiday gift guide coverage and avoid the CES news cycle.
“These cab lines though!”
Yes, the cab lines (and airport lines, and coffee lines, and all the lines) across Vegas are horrid during CES. You can expect to spend at least 20-30 minutes standing in a cab stand to get from Point A to Point B during the show, and even more time during peak hours (when the shows are closing for the day). The issue doesn’t end there; once en route, traffic congestion is extreme on these days, so what may regularly be only a 5-minute drive turns into a 15-minute one.
Pro tip: Build an egregious amount of buffer time into your commutes to ensure punctuality.
CES spans nearly 3 million square feet of exhibit space and is spread out across multiple convention centers and hotels in the city. The show venues are grouped into three main areas: Tech East, Tech West and Tech South.
Pro tip: Study the maps ahead of time to help you get your bearings straight before you’re on the ground.
“Definitely not going to make this meeting.”
Given the aforementioned massive congestion and disparate locations, it’s inevitable that some commitments made will need to be rescheduled or even unfortunately canceled at the last minute. It’s important to be flexible at the show and understand that some things are just out of your control.
Pro tip: Set expectations with all parties that some schedule shifting will likely have to take place on the spot at the show in order to accommodate high priority meetings.
“I’d love to go to dinner but already spent my travel budget printing this document.”
It’s Vegas; almost everything is up charged, including but not limited to printing. Using hotel business and printing services can be quite costly and time consuming given the high demand from fellow CES attendees.
Pro tip: Print anything you’ll need before you get to Vegas and bring it with you. You’ll appreciate the big-time money and stress savings.
If you plan to attend CES, bookmark these pro tips to ensure a productive time and prevent yourself from having to utter some of these phrases this year.