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Consumer Tech Experts Share Top CES Tips

Hotwire Global

Exhibitors have been confirmed, the press list is out and we are just about a month away from CES 2020. At Hotwire we know a thing or two about the world’s largest consumer technology conference – and we’re here to share some insights and tips on CES past present and future from our consumer specialists.

Christine Reilly, Senior Director

My top tip is to get a lay of the land EARLY. Not only is the show spread out across Vegas, but the hotels are a bit of a maze. With journalists and influencers sticking to a strict schedule, it’s so important to give yourself (and your spokespeople!) enough time to get from A to B if you don’t have a booth to host an interview in. Make sure you’re 100% clear where your next briefing is well in advance, so that you’re not panicking on the walk over but instead using the time to reiterate key messages to your spokesperson so they can nail that briefing!

Maya Nimnitch, Account Manager

My first year at CES had a lot of hiccups. It rained nearly all week and in Las Vegas that’s pretty uncommon. As a result, the Google tent flooded, Ubers surged and the main hall experienced a blackout, leaving hundreds of people in the dark. It was also a hot year for robotics and voice-control, and while live demos always pose a risk, these demo flops were especially visible. Last but not least, the President of the US decided to visit Vegas during CES, therefore shutting down the strip for an hour, stranding people at the convention center and preventing media from making their briefings (with my clients). My time in PR has taught me that even the best laid plans can go array, but to have so many issues happen in just 4 days was comical. Remember to bring a good sense of humor to CES, you’ll need it.

My Tips:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a backpack – your body will thank you!
  2. PR peeps – get your eyes checked and prescriptions updated ahead of CES, you’ll need 20/20 vision to spot the press badges from across the floor.
  3. Have a little fun, it’s Vegas after all!

A personal notable moment was convincing CES to (temporarily) change their policy on having animals on site so I could bring therapy dogs to media meetings. The dogs were relevant to my client’s products, but we also really wanted puppies on site.

Brittany Margiotta, Account Manager

Going on my third year onsite and third year supporting overall, I think of CES as the good, the bad and the rewarding. Prepare for the bad: press and/or executives running late due to the various locations and traffic and your feet hurting regardless of how comfortable your shoes are. The good is getting facetime with media, seeing your brand’s CES announcements driving the news cycle, and knowing that no matter how many times things change on the fly you CAN handle a CES scramble. Beyond being a part of the ever evolving consumer tech space, it’s rewarding knowing that the work you and your team put in over the course of a year, 6 months, etc. – from the media relationships built, recommendations shared with clients, strategy development and media training executives – all comes together for five days. Pro-tip: don’t just attend CES, show up at CES.

Rahat Rashid, Senior Account Manager

CES is a great place to meet tons of new folks, media, executives who share a passion for all things tech. There’s so much going on the show floor and the Las Vegas strip, so go out there and connect! Don’t hesitate to spark up a conversation with a reporter if you see them outside of the show – they’re always excited to learn about something new. Attend networking events, happy hours, and parties to create even more opportunities for yourself. That said, don’t get caught up and try to stretch yourself too thin. It’s a big show and I guarantee you won’t be able to do everything there. Pick and choose your events, meetings, and parties while making sure you still have enough fuel to get through the whole week.

Additional resources to get more out of your CES investment

As an essential bridge between the media and brands, Hotwire is an advocate for both the companies and media on site with decades of experience on-site to help brands maximize their CES experience. For more on maximizing your CES experience, check out: