Lessons Learned From My First Official CES
1/17/2013 7:58 AM
This year I was fortunate enough to attend the Consumer Electronics Show under a press pass. The show was a mass barrage of audio and video—overwhelming at some points. It was a sea of people, products, and technology, and it is still penetrating my dreams. After trudging the floors, hotels, press events, and people, (and surviving), I have created a list of what I learned as the new girl (press girl) on the block.
Read the Emails: A few weeks before the show, the emails began. I’m used to sorting through a few emails a day, but this was a horse of a different color. They just kept coming. Each one promising the greatest new technology that there ever was. Eventually, I couldn’t keep up and started deleting them. Newbie mistake! I later found out, that sorting through these, and taking note would tell you “where” you wanted to be and “what” you should be covering.
Some also contained ‘passes’ which are the equivalent to a ‘Fast Pass’ at Disney. Not printing or bringing these along resulted in very long lines to get into press events and announcements.
Find a Posse: I will admit I am a bit astonished by some of the veterans in this business, press and otherwise. Being a female in a male dominated business, you form a thick skin. I was ready to don it, but did not have to. Special thanks to John Sciacca, Darryl Wilkinson, and Dennis Burger for being kind and showing me the ropes. Without them I would still be wandering around Vegas—lost in the abyss.
Bring a Laptop: Thinking of all the steps I would be taking, I had decided to bring my iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard instead of my heavier laptop (an older MacBook). This backfired in a serious way when the keyboard didn’t turn off and locked my iPad rendering it completely useless for the rest of the trip. Thank you kindly to my editor, Jeremy Glowacki, for taking my articles written in all thumbs from my iPhone. (I’m still holding my head in shame).
CES Is NOT CEDIA: After years of attending CEDIA, I’m pretty comfortable with it. For example, you can go back to the same booth more than once. Not true at CES. It’s huge. It’s bigger then huge. Plan well; cover each area well so you won’t find yourself having to go back. I should have studied the map!
Plan Better: On Tuesday night I believed I could skip to more than one event. I did eventually get to my final destination—an hour late. Leave yourself plenty of time to get from one place to another, and then add an additional hour. Thinking you can just jump in a cab is a joke. The cab line alone can be up to an hour. (Another reason to find a posse—they can convince you of other forms of transportation like the monorail! Which saved me loads of cash).
How Tech_Chi (my twitter handle) get’s her Chi back!
Get OUT: So how did I survive CES and Vegas for a week? I left! I took an extra day with my husband; we rented a car and drove to the Valley of Fire. It was wonderful and quiet. We were outside all day without technology. It provided balance to the rest of the trip. I highly recommend it.
So CES 2013 has come to a close and I’m still processing everything I saw. It will be interesting to watch some of these new products come to market and see where the future leads us. Now its time to focus the company on this years success!
Heather L. Sidorowicz is project manager/designer for Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.