Tips I Picked Up From My Week at CES
Last week I got the opportunity to attend my very first CES in Las Vegas, and I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive the days leading up to the trade show. However, I’m happy to report that I survived the week and picked up a few good tips for anyone attending CES next year or any other major tradeshow with a client in the near future:
The early bird catches the worm
- This seems like a no-brainer, but booking hotels and travel as early as possible is important because prices will skyrocket as it gets closer to the event. Your top picks are likely to sell out, so it’s important to be prepared to act quickly.
- Get on the CES mailing list to be the first to know when to pre-register for the show. A CES badge is free if you register in advance, so if you think there’s a slight possibility you or your client will be attending, be sure to look out for pre-registration info to avoid badge fees.
- Registering and RSVPing for other events is also important because there may be times when a reporter will want to meet you at CES-related party, press event, etc. so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Expect the unexpected
- Get as much prep work done in the office before you leave and print out notes to have with you on hand or have someone back in the office to be on call if needed. Depending on reliable Wi-Fi to respond to emails or update social media at the hotel or tradeshow will leave you disappointed (I learned this the hard and expensive way).
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a snack with you because you never know where the day and night (it is Vegas after all) will take you. CES is BIG and chasing reporters throughout the showfloor can be like running around a maze under the clock. Expect to be on your feet all day with no time to stop for a proper meal.
- If possible, get to the showfloor early to get the lay of the land. If you’re familiar with what’s around you, you’ll be able to suggest good meeting landmarks and quiet areas to conduct briefings and demos for your client.
- Researching transportation routes and alternatives before the show is key to avoid any late appointments and unwanted stress. There will be times when your first choice for transportation may fail you, so be ready to have a new plan to accommodate these last minute changes in your schedule.
Take a second to look around
- Even though you’ll be busy running around managing your client, attending meetings, and replying to emails, don’t forget to stop and check out some of the booths and exhibits at the show. You’ll be surrounded by amazing technology and innovation, so it’s important to come up for air and look at what is going on around you. You never know what new trend or technology may take off from CES and you may take away more than you realize while attending the show.
- If you have the time (and energy), take advantage of the parties and networking events at CES, the plethora of restaurants Las Vegas has to offer, and most importantly, the quality face time to get to know your client better. A lasting impression with the client may be the most important outcome from an exhausting week out of the office.