A tasty burger with no meat. A bread-making robot. A smart toilet. As with every CES, this year was full of gadgets for things you would never have thought you even needed (many of which have no set launch date or price tag). But we also saw a lot of substance with products and services that were not only talked about but actually set to launch and soon (many of which came from our lovely clients).

The Hotwire consumer team was there in full force, representing seven clients at the show where we staffed 31 1:1 media & influencer briefings, met with 250+ media at the event’s showcases Unveiled and Pepcom, and secured 400+ pieces of coverage in CES week alone. Suffice to say, it was quite the week!

And it’s not over yet. With so many interesting issues and conversations deriving from this year’s show, we’re working with our clients to build thought leadership content around these topics to ensure our voices and opinions continue to be heard.

We’ve already started talking to clients about CES 2020 (omg!), which got us thinking about what really worked and didn’t for brands at this year’s show. Here are some of our key takeaways for brands to take heed of next year.

Nail your elevator pitch for media and influencers

As any PR will tell you, there was a HUGE issue with receiving the CES media list this year. And yes, it may have caused just a little bit of stress for us PRs, as it resulted in media not as open to scheduling briefings during the show, and instead deciding who they wanted to meet with at the start of the week. This meant we needed to hustle EVEN MORE. We had to make the most of the time we had with journalists at Unveiled and Pepcom, making it clear in about 10 seconds tops why they had to make the time to see our clients. And it worked with 31 briefings locked down. They’re exhausted before the show even kicks off, so it’s key to answer that ‘why’ in any media or influencer elevator pitch.

Make the most of your booth

If you plan to exhibit at next year’s show and pay that hefty price tag, then you must ensure you make the most of what your booth can do for your brand. It’s the first and only thing media and influencers will see at the show and you’re competing against hundreds of others so you’ve got to do what you can to stand out. For example, make sure it’s open and inviting, where those passing by can see what you have to show off when simply wandering around the show floor. Take BotBoxer at this year’s show for example. Its booth was so open with its product on a mini stage for all to see that you couldn’t help but stop and stare at the cool tech as you walked past it.

Know your purpose

CES is a busy show, we all know that. And many brands will wonder if it’s worth the heavy price tag to feel like a small fish in a big pond. The truth is that if you don’t have a real purpose at the show (AKA anything to really showcase, talk about and answer that ‘why should media care’ question), then it’s not worth investing in as you will get lost in the CES noise. But if you do, then the show is yours for the taking. With the right comms strategy, media and influencers will sit up and listen.

If this has piqued your interest for CES 2020, it is never too early to get in touch and discuss your ideas over a coffee. Get in touch with Laura MacDonald, Head of Consumer North America at laura.macdonald@hotwireglobal.com or Jess Gross, UK Head of Consumer at jessica.gross@hotwireglobal.com.

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