How to Survive CES (TL;DR Booze, Hand Sanitizer, and Water)
So you’re going to CES! Congratulations! You have our sincere apologies. CES is a grind. A death march. You’re gonna be exhausted, brutally hungover and quite possibly deathly ill before it’s all over. Here’s how to survive and conquer.
- Bring a shit-ton of biz cards. Think you’ve got enough? Double it.
- Initiate handshakes the WHO way—it’s safer, and a great conversation starter.
- Bring Chap-stick.
- Bring a shit-ton of wipes. Think you’ve got enough? Double it.
- Turn your badge around as soon as you walk through the door. You don’t want every PR rep in the joint saying, You work at (insert name)? I LOVE (insert name). Let me set you up with…
- Stop by the giant Gibson tent and play a song. Loudly. Do this daily. It’s a great stress reliever.
- Be very nice to everyone you meet. You may need something from them before the week is over.
- Take your backpack off at Pepcom. Or at least swing it around so it hangs in front, jeez.
- Hydrate! No, this isn’t about hangovers, Las Vegas is an arid desert climate. Also hangovers.
- Get in line early.
- Give yourself 30 minutes more than you think you need to get anywhere. And get in line early.
- Top off your laptop battery at every opportunity, no matter how short.
- Eat the press room lunch. Life is too short for soggy croissandwiches, and no one should be eating Sbarro.
- Bring Emergen-C to add to every cocktail.
- Bring an on-the-go phone charger or charging case.
- Leave room in your suitcase when you pack so you can bring back those million USBs.
- Put on Chap-stick like a creeper in front of booth babes.
- Call them booth babes.
- Touch anybody’s hands.
- Eat the buffet food. Ever.
- Forget the wipes.
- Try holding more than two chairs in the press room, unless you want a beating.
- Write about how CES is over and nobody cares anymore. Nobody cares what you think.
- Do a video about the abundance of wearables, rideables, or iPhone cases.
- Get too excited about seeing 50 Cent. He’s always there. He never leaves.
- Forget that this show isn’t for you, it’s for Tech Execs Doing Business.
- Cut in press conference lines, unless you want a beating.
- Tap the glass on the Mandalay Bay shark tank.
- Ask for an extra T-shirt.
- Start conversations with cabdrivers by asking how busy it’s been.
- Get in line for the press lunch early.
- Explore Sands Expo! It’s where all the start-ups are, and there’s a ton of cool stuff there.
- If you’re into high-end audio, check out the audiophile stuff in the Venetian Suites.
- Ask them to play Aja. Audiophiles love Aja.
- Eat before you leave the hotel. Preferably at a buffet.
- Walk! The shuttles are a scam, and really only worth it if you’re going to a Hotel Very Far Away.
- Shower before bed. You’re carrying all of the germs in the world. You’ll sleep better, too.
- Grab every USB stick you can get your hands on.
- Find the biggest, brightest 8K TV you can and spend 20 minutes just staring at it.
- Unless they’re playing a snowboard video.
- Bring Emergen-C.
- Ride a hoverboard.
- Sign anything.
- Eat at the LVCC (unless it’s the Indian place with the naan bread curry wraps).
- Pick your nose.
- Gamble. It’s a waste of time at CES.
- Vape on a hoverboard.
- Spend all your time at the big brand-name booths. The best stuff you’ll see will be from companies you’ve never heard of.
- Call them “booth babes.”
- Ask someone to write about your startup.
- Put something interesting on the TVs. Nobody cares about your 4K snowboarding demo.
- Put on Spider-Man and people will actually hang out.
- Keep a box of wipes in your hands-on demo area
- Offer cushy seating like chairs, loveseats, and nice ottomans.
- Make plenty of women’s sizes for your giveaway shirts—NOBODY does this so you’re guaranteeing somebody will wear it.
- Keep your booth tidy, especially the bunting.
- Everyone loves a tiny free water bottle. Everyone.
- Axe overly bright, harsh lighting. Our eyes hurt.
- Throw press parties with a cash bar or no bar or only one bar. Go deep on booze.
- Think you’ve got enough? Double it.
- Make anyone from the press take a picture with you to demo something.
- Stalk the press. It makes people decide to never write about your company.
- Flirt. It makes people decide to never write about your company.
- Give away any USB sticks less than 2GB.
- Offer a listening station where the only option is earbuds. Eeeeeew.
- Make give-away T-shirts in any color other than black.
- Insist on scanning our badges.
- Send follow-up emails. Reporters delete them on sight.
- Call them “booth babes.”
- Put a bucket of breath spray next to a bucket of mini, circular hand sanitizer.
- Hold a private meeting off the strip, unless it is amazing, and unless transportation is provided.