Jan
24

Smart Homes Far From Home at My First CES

posted on January 24th 2019 in blog with 0 Comments

While en route to Las Vegas, somewhere over the Rockies, the inherent preparation and weight of CES planning left my shoulders and excitement set in. Last year, I experienced CES from our Rhode Island office 3,000 miles away, but nothing beats the adrenaline of entering the show and being greeted by floor to ceiling video walls, witnessing live interviews on the CNET stage, and entering the Sands Smart Home Marketplace to meet clients Z-Wave Alliance, abode, and FIBARO face-to-face for the first time.

When the show floor opened, I immediately had flashbacks to working at Best Buy on Black Friday – the place was scattered with people trying to get their hands on the newest technology, and it was up to me to show them the way.

Geek News Central hosting Mitchell Klein on Tech Podcasts Live at CES

FIBARO introducing POC Network to their new Home Center App

Live demonstration of the abode iota powering the Z-Wave Experience House

Here’s how it played out:

Expectations

The hype leading up to CES made me nervous at first. The idea of briefing the press on new smart home technology, discussing upcoming trends for 2019, and adhering to a tight schedule was all a bit overwhelming. But I knew that Caster had armed me with the knowledge and power to do my job well, and it all felt surprisingly natural as the show began to unfold. My nerves were quickly replaced with pride as interest in my clients’ technology began to grow.

Reality

The CES show floor felt like home, not because there was an entire interactive smart home set up within the Z-Wave Pavilion, but because for three days I didn’t have to explain to someone what the IoT stands for, or what Z-Wave technology is. After three months of pitching, planning, and scheduling interviews, I saw our hard work pay off in the form of a heavily trafficked Z-Wave Pavilion and FIBARO booth at CES. After living and breathing smart home for the past year, I was eager to share everything I’ve learned about the Z-Wave Alliance’s latest milestones and growth in 2018, FIBARO’s new Walli line of outlets, Smart Implant, and Home Center App, and offer demos of the new abode iota gateway that powered the Z-Wave Experience House.

Camera crews and press were especially appreciative of receiving several live demonstrations across multiple home automation and security companies that were all exhibiting within the Z-Wave Pavilion. For those who don’t know, the Z-Wave Pavilion is where Alliance member companies introduce and demonstrate their latest Z-Wave technologies in unique, individual pods. In a sense, the Z-Wave Pavilion serves as a one-stop-shop for the press to gather CES news, host interviews and compile some killer content for their publication, blog, or video podcast. For a split second, I wore the hat of a segment producer by facilitating live interviews with nearly every exhibiting member in the Pavilion (winning!).

The Takeaway

My first CES was a rewarding experience overall; I learned so much about the industry and felt privileged to be experiencing the new to market technologies first hand from a behind the scenes perspective. I was able to participate in live demonstrations of the latest smart home tech, and retained knowledge that has already proven to be valuable as I move through my daily to-do lists of creating content and pitching the media. Having clients pull me aside to express their gratitude for all our hard work was the icing on the CES cake and is just one of the many reasons why I love my job.

Do you remember your first CES? Drop me a line on Twitter and tell me about it, @megannicole_pr.

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