Tis the CES Season
Everyone working in the tech industry knows, December tis the season. No, we’re not talking about the holidays, we’re talking the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that takes place every January in sunny Las Vegas. This will be my fourth CES show and I know many others have many more notches in their CES belt than I do but we’ll have some new faces from Caster attending the show this year so I wanted to impart some trade show hacks I’ve learned to survive Vegas.
Bring back up.
Everyone on the Caster team will have your back while you’re at the show but in this sense, I’m talking about battery backup. The simple truth – you’re going to need it. Tradeshow days are long, you start early and go late. While you’re on the show floor you’re going to be using your phone to check news, do live social, take videos and pictures and communicate with those back at home base and clients not at the show. Don’t count on your client booth having a free outlet you can borrow. Bring along a couple fully charged battery packs to give yourself a boost when you need it. You might even run into a member of the press who needs to bum a charge and make a new friend in the industry. CES makes battery packs are a great gift list item.
Not in the sense you’re thinking though there will be a time and place to enjoy a libation or two, this is Vegas after all. Speaking of Vegas, it’s typically hot and dry. The sudden change in environment is a recipe for us coast hugging New Englanders to easily get dehydrated. Grab water where you can and plenty of it. Despite your best intentions you can’t run on coffee alone while at CES. You don’t need to go full Camelbak mode, but I recommend getting a reusable water bottle you can easily carry around and fill to keep yourself well hydrated.
I know this one seems like a no brainer, but I’ll say it again, eat. You won’t have time every morning for a monstrous breakfast but remember to start off the day with something to eat. You’re going to be moving all day, you need fuel. There is food at the various convention center halls but you’re going to be one of the 180,000 people at this show so be prepared to wait in line. My hack? Grab something sustainable for breakfast and stash a couple pocket sized snacks you can break into throughout the day until you get the chance to grab something a little bigger and more sustainable.
“It’s farther than it looks.”
Bottom line, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking – there’s no way around that but one piece of advice Kim gave me for my first show was “if you think you can walk it, you can’t.” We’ll do this a bit as a group but take it upon yourself to learn the best way to get to where you’re going. Hotel to the Sands, Sands to Central, etc. Vegas is bigger than it looks and it’s easy to get turned around or end up somewhere you didn’t mean to go. Although it’s a pain to wait, if you must jump between the Sands and the other show floors, take the bus that runs between the two. It will take over and hour, but it beats the hour-long walk.
For you trade show veterans out there, any tips/or tricks you’d like to share with the Caster team? We’d love to hear them! Connect with me on Twitter at @CasterPete and with Caster Communications at @CasterComm.