For first-time CES attendees, trying to remember everything you need to do before the show can be overwhelming. You don’t want to miss any opportunities. You don’t want to forget anything at home. So, where do you begin? Don’t worry!

We’ve got a CES survival guide, made for PR professionals by PR professionals: 

Planning

Last year’s CES attracted 176,676 attendees and 3,600 exhibitors! With CES 2016 likely to be even bigger, you will want to plan ahead. Consider scheduling meetings, determining locations within proximity and methods of transportation ahead of time. If you will be attending any keynote addresses, be sure to note the date and time of any major presentations. We also recommend downloading the show’s full schedule to determine which events could be best suited for your clients prior to arriving. Your time is limited and thus, organization will be key to your success at CES.

Things to Bring

When packing your CES luggage, be sure to include these items. You’ll be glad you did:

  • Comfortable Shoes

    Not only will you be on your feet for a majority of the day, but also you could end up walking quite a few miles. After all, last year’s CES show floor was over 2 million net square feet! If you plan to walk around and learn about some of your fellow exhibitors, your feet could start to hurt after a while! We recommend wearing extremely comfortable shoes.

  • Business Cards

    A great way to ensure the connections you make at CES follow up with you is by providing them with a memorable business card. Realistically, we’d recommend bringing 250-500 business cards. Expect to use them all! If possible, we recommend getting a card you can write on, as well, in case someone wants to take notes during your conversation that will help them remember you.

  • Clothes with Pockets

    Speaking of business cards, we recommend wearing clothes with pockets. You’ll need somewhere to keep all the business cards you receive! In addition, it’ll be important to have your phone, a pen and possibly a notepad on you at all times.

  • Camera

    If you are attending CES for a client, a camera is invaluable! Capturing the event through photos is a great way to promote a company’s attendance, remember certain booths and entice social media followers to visit your booth. Keep in mind that your smartphone can double as a camera. That said, if you have a camera with a flash, this could compensate for the often poor lighting on the show floor.

  • Ibuprofen

    There are lots of lights and sounds at CES. If you are prone to headaches, ibuprofen is simply a no-brainer.

  • Food & Drinks

    Be sure to stay hydrated and energized as you walk the floor. This means packing lots of water and maybe some coffee. We also recommend packing snacks, in the event that you are unable to leave your client’s booth for the entire day.

  • WiFi Hotspot

    If you have access to a WiFi hotspot, we highly recommend you bringing it to CES. With all the app-enabled gadgets on the show floor, as well as the thousands of attendees attempting to connect their smart devices, the convention center WiFi probably won’t suit your needs and other areas such as hotels and restaurants will charge for WiFi. Plus, these connections are often spotty and slow. A hotspot could make all the difference when trying to live tweet the event or answer emails from your client’s home base!

  • Battery Power

    CES is often early mornings and long nights, between press events, exhibiting, client meetings and dinner parties. That’s a big strain on your smartphone or laptop battery. We recommend packing chargers to keep your tech running throughout the entire day. We also suggest you pack external batteries to allow for charging in places without AC outlets! 

On the Show Floor

So, you’ve made it to the show floor. Congratulations! Here comes the busy part! Keep in mind that the show floor is chock full of media personnel. In fact, last year’s event had nearly 7,000 attendees there for media purposes only.

As first-time attendees, you’ll want to put yourself in the journalist’s shoes. Keep in mind that most media professionals who visit your booth are short on time, a bit overwhelmed and could have been walking for hours already. We recommend presenting your product quickly and being as concise as possible with your pitch.

Nowadays, many of the journalists at CES are Internet sensations. In fact, popular YouTube personalities like Marques Brownlee, iJustine and Joey Graceffa will be at the event, covering some of their favorite gadget finds. This means you and your client should be camera-ready! Don’t forget to pack:

  • Makeup powder

    Some basic powder can help your complexion appear more even on camera.

  • Gum

    Perfect for interviews on the go.

  • Hairspray

    A travel-sized hair spray can help anyone smooth out their look in front of video lights.

  • Lint roller

    Appearing clean and professional saves everyone time and increases your chances of being selected for a video piece.

The most important rule for CES 2016? Enjoy yourself! The event is huge with tons to see. This year is expected to be no different. We wish you luck at this year’s CES and hope to see you on the show floor!

Let us know what you’re bringing to CES 2016 in the comments below, and be sure to connect with us on Twitter for live tweets from this year’s event!

Get your brand front and center at CES 2023!

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