Huge crowds, client meetings, product launches – there’s a lot for PR pros to juggle during CES week. Planning for CES can be overwhelming, especially for a first time attendee. Luckily we have some CES veterans in the office that shared some valuable insights on what first time CES attendees absolutely need to know.

Read on as we address some common questions and help you get set for the biggest week in tech!

Where Should I Start?

The first step in your CES journey is registration. The process for the 2017 show has already begun so register now to avoid higher fees as the show approaches. Once your registration is finalized you will want to book your hotel accommodations as soon as possible, as rooms WILL book up. Make sure to take advantage of special room rates for CES attendees. Planning on treating your client to dinner or a show? It’s best to book dining reservations well in advance. Las Vegas is a popular destination and you’ll be competing with tourists and your fellow CES attendees for reservations.

What Should I Pack?

The biggest piece of feedback I received from my colleagues is when it comes to packing for CES it’s best to plan for the unexpected. Account Supervisor Beth Gard suggests, “Bring multiple options for outfits, you could be going from the show floor to a client dinner to a Vegas show in a single day. You never know until you’re there!”

The days are long, so make sure you have the essentials with you at all times. Beth explains, “Always carry a big bag to hold important things like water, snacks, your booth badge, ID and money.” Long days mean your personal devices will be getting a workout, make sure you’re never without a charge. “Always bring an external battery to charge your tech, that’s crucial,” adds Senior Account Executive Nicole Cobuzio. Essentially it all boils down to thinking ahead and packing accordingly. You wouldn’t want to make it all the way to Vegas only to realize you left something important back at home!

[Editor’s Note: Check out our full CES packing list]

What Else Should I Know?

CES is the world’s biggest gathering in the consumer electronics industry. The 2016 show welcomed a record breaking 170,000+ attendees. With this in mind it’s best to set the proper expectations before you hit the show floor. You will encounter an immense number of people just about everywhere you go.

With the huge crowds come opportunities to network! Valuable connections can be made all around the show floor, take advantage of this time to meet new people. In the midst of all this networking you’ll notice the business cards starting to pile up. Stay organized by taking a photo on your phone or using an app like Evernote to digitally categorize the cards so you can dump the paper and save space in your bag.

If you’re working a booth for a client you can expect to be standing for extended periods of time. This is where a pair of comfortable shoes come in mind. CES is not the time to break in a new pair of heels or oxfords! When choosing footwear it may be best to pick comfort over style. Your feet will thank you!

If you have time to roam the floor it’s key to plot out what you want to see each day. CES is spread out across several locations so it’s important to know which venue you want to be in so you don’t waste valuable time and energy walking back and forth.

Whether you’re working the show or attending as a guest, CES is a whirlwind week where you will get to witness the latest and greatest in tech. We hope these tips will come in handy as you plan your trip to Vegas!

Are you a CES veteran with helpful tips for first time attendees? Share them in the comments below!

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