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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.

For Reporters

Do:

  • 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.

Don’t:

  • 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.

For Visitors

Do:

  • 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.

Don’t:

  • 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.
  • 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.

For Exhibitors

Do:

  • Put something interesting on the TVs. Nobody cares about your 4K snowboarding demo.
  • Put on Spider-Man and people will actually hang out.
  • Floss!
  • 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.

Don’t:

  • 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.

This article: 

How to Survive CES (TL;DR Booze, Hand Sanitizer, and Water)