CES: A Guide for First Timers

CES: A Guide for First Timers

It’s the biggest consumer electronic show in the world, and it’s here! It’s inspiring, cool, massive, and a lot of fun … it can also, for first time attendees, feel a bit overwhelming. We’ve been regulars at CES since 2014 and learned a thing or two about how to get the most out of the event. Read on for our guide to getting the most out of your first time.

Travel Light and Smart: Security at CES is stringent, and the event's rules prohibit rolling bags on the show floor. Pack only what you need for the day, including essentials like business cards, a notebook, and a portable phone charger. Leave plenty of extra space in your bag for any swag or promotional items you might collect​​. (But also, don’t assume everything you see at booths is swag.)

Focused Visiting Strategy: With so much to see, having a plan is crucial. Before attending, research the exhibitors and technologies you're most interested in. Make a list of must-see booths and plan your route accordingly. This targeted approach will ensure you see everything on your list without feeling overwhelmed​​. The Official Discovery Wall in the Grand Lobby, powered by yours truly, can also help surface trending brands and industries. It’s a great way to focus on what’s emerging as hot topics.

Stay Connected and Charged: Your phone will be your lifeline for navigating the event, taking photos, and staying in touch with colleagues. Bring a fully charged USB battery pack to keep your devices powered throughout the day (Top tip! Some iPad Pro and iPad Air models can charge your phone, and many Android phones, including several Samsung Galaxy models, can wirelessly charge other devices). Finding an available power outlet can be challenging at such a busy event​​.

Networking and Socialising: CES is not only about looking at cool gadgets; it's also a hub for networking, and you’re missing a trick if you don’t engage with other attendees, exchange business cards, and participate in conversations. Evening events and afterparties are excellent opportunities for networking, so consider attending a few. Be open to meeting new people and sharing ideas​​​​.

Maintain an Open Mindset: The variety of technologies and ideas at CES can be staggering. Approach the event with curiosity and openness – appreciate the potential of emerging technologies, even if they seem unconventional at first glance​​. That’s part of the fun!

Leverage the Afterparties for Networking: The numerous afterparties at CES offer a more relaxed setting to meet industry professionals. While it's impossible to attend them all, try to get on as many guest lists as possible – often, it’s just a matter of asking. Choose the events that align best with your interests and goals​​, and check social media and signage at booths to find out where the best afterparties are happening.

Plan for Connectivity Issues: With thousands of attendees, Wi-Fi and cellular connections can be spotty. Plan for potential connectivity issues by downloading necessary apps (the Official CES App is at www.CES.tech/app), maps, and schedules beforehand. Also, identify key meeting spots in case you get separated from your group.

Embrace the Unexpected: CES is known for its surprises – from unexpected product launches to celebrity appearances. Keep your schedule flexible enough to accommodate spontaneous opportunities or interesting sessions that weren't initially on your radar.

Reflect and Follow Up Post-Event: After CES, take time to reflect on your experiences, the people you met, and the technologies you encountered. Follow up with new contacts, share your learnings with your team, and start planning for the next steps in your projects or collaborations. This post-event phase is crucial for capitalising on the connections and ideas gained during CES. A good start is downloading Buzz Radar’s CES 2024 Report, where we’ll break down the wins, successes stories and lessons to be learned from this year’s event.

Stay Informed with Event Updates: Keep an eye on official CES communications for updates on keynotes, special events, or last-minute changes. This will help you stay informed and make any necessary adjustments to your schedule. Use the hashtag #CES2024 on all platforms. You can find the official CES accounts at @CES on Facebook, X/Twitter and Instagram, cesonthetube on YouTube and CES on LinkedIn. And come check out all the trends and updates at the Official Discovery Wall, powered by Buzz Radar – right in the Grand Lobby of the LVCC.

Have fun! You’re at the largest event of its kind anywhere in the world! The technology of the future is right in front of you – dig in and enjoy every minute!

Published on 2023-01-9 8:04:46