The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, bringing together more than 150,000 attendees annually.

Held in Las Vegas every January, many CE companies and marketers may now be breathing their sigh of relief—the chaos is over. But, not for long.

Planning for CES is nearly a yearlong project, aside from our brief repose in Q1, requiring a keen attention to details/deadlines and many months of preparation. Don’t let waiting to the last-minute have you living in a constant state of chaos. Here’s what to do and when to get it right.


  • Book the Booth: Most companies book their booth space for CES at the prior year’s CES. If you haven’t looked into this, you may as well get started! The right location can greatly increase your impact.

This Summer:

  • “Big idea” Brainstorming: Do you know what you/your client will be announcing? It’s time for creative brainstorms. Experiential events have many moving pieces—from booking venues to attaining permits, many of which must happen months in advance. Start the creative process early so that you can narrow down and fine-tune your plan as early as possible.
  • Registration: Registration for CES typically opens in early July. Many of us may receive the offer to register for free at this time. Do it! Fees go into effect in August. And, CES has started capping attendance.
  • CES Innovation Award: Produced by CTA (producer of CES), the CES Innovations Awards are the first to open. Companies who will be exhibiting new and innovative products should enter. Entries typically open around August 10 and close around September 15. This is an award that should be entered as soon as possible as early-bid entry fee reduction opportunities exist.

Early Fall:

    • Media Event Registration/Preparations: While you/your client may have booked a CES booth approximately one year in advance, there are additional media event opportunities you may still be considering in the months prior to CES. These events are generally recommended for additional visibility and media exposure. The sooner you can confirm attendance, the better. Each draws over 1,000 media attendees.
      • CES Unveiled
      • Pepcom at CES
      • Showstoppers at CES
    • Content Conversations: October is the perfect time to start narrowing down your messaging, discussing the details of a presence at CES to determine how it will be represented in all materials.

Late Fall:

      • Content Development: As soon as initial conversations surrounding messaging have begun, rough drafts should be created. This will also help you to clarify what details are still needed. Press releases should be finalized by early December.
      • Social Media Planning: Create a social content calendar. Determine when you will begin discussing CES.
        • Aim to create a rough draft and social calendar by late November.
        • CES content should be prepared well in advance (not on the fly) and finalized in early December, if possible.
      • Awards: Each CES, a variety of additional technology publications open entries for their best of CES awards. Generally, from September through November, each of the following publications will post their entry rules, directions and deadlines. The awards are typically due between late November and early January.
        • Digital Trends
        • Tom’s Guide
        • TWICE
        • Tom’s Hardware
        • iLounge
        • Mashable
        • Engadget
      • Media Outreach: It is recommended that you begin outreach to your core contacts in November. While some folks may not be scheduling appointments at this time, you will want to get in touch with your top tech targets before the CES list is available. The CES list becomes available in early December. You will certainly want to expand your outreach to all appropriate outlets on this list, however, with thousands of PR professionals reaching out to this list, delays in media responses should be anticipated.

Sound like a lot to handle? Don’t worry we can help!

Read on to see what CES Marketing services we offer.

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