As a tech enthusiast, I cannot imagine a better way to spend the first full week of the New Year than at CES 2017. Not only is technology a passion of mine, but it’s also part of my job. This is the second year I have attended CES on behalf of a longtime Stanton Communications client, Fraunhofer IIS.
Chances are your ears are already acquainted with Fraunhofer, an applied research organization responsible for the development of mp3 and technologies that enable 8 billion devices worldwide. At CES 2017, Fraunhofer’s Audio & Media Technologies division presented advancements in research and development, and innovations in audio and multimedia solutions.
As both an attendee and representative of Fraunhofer, my experience at CES allowed me to gain valuable insight on how media, exhibitors and general attendees alike can maximize their involvement in CES.
Come in with a Game Plan
CES exhibitors, attendees, and media are oversaturated with information during the show and need to be laser-focused on what they must accomplish during the 4 days with 2.6 million net square feet of convention centers to cover. From a strategic communications perspective, it is categorically important to begin planning weeks and even months in advance to nail down media briefings and fine-tune your schedule as best as possible.
Though time is precious and schedules are jam-packed, attendees often leave a window open to wander around to find those hidden gems. So, as you’re representing an organization at the show, and have your briefing schedule in order, it is essential to keep your eyes peeled for those who are wandering the show floor and could drop by for a peek at what you’re exhibiting.
You never know who can stop by at a moment’s notice; it could be a notable member of the media, a principal analyst or a potential customer that is a top target for your client.
Keep Briefings Brief
Time is easily the most valuable element during CES. Attendees are sprinting through hotels and the halls of the convention center in a mad dash to peruse the 3,800 exhibitors, make it to prescheduled meetings and panels, and assess the countless latest innovations in the consumer electronics industry as time allows.
When it comes to media briefings, it is imperative to do research in advance, and have a tailored “elevator speech” at the ready. In some instances, prescheduled a 30-minute briefing can turn into a 10-minute meeting due to overbookings or the location of a journalist’s previous or next meeting.
When guests stop by, maximize the time you have together by providing as much new and useful information around your client’s technology in hopes that it will land in their show coverage.
Follow the Trends, but Also Look for New Ones
To properly educate and counsel your client, as well as your colleagues, it is useful to spend some time wandering the show floor. I have learned that taking the time to explore the halls gives you the opportunity to see what organizations in other industries are doing to take full advantage of their presence at the show.
At this year’s show, I noticed exhibitors in the Las Vegas Convention Center offered some sort of aspect around major trends, including virtual reality, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles home theater, and smart home technology, to name a few. It’s important to understand and note trends—especially the headliners—as it provides knowledge and insight on what to expect in the industry over the next 6 – 12 months. In addition, it helps us better counsel our client which is critical as the technology industry continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Overall, large-scale trade shows can become hectic even before the doors open, and it is important to devise a method and approach to the madness. Through intense preparation, Fraunhofer met with key media that resulted in some impressive coverage following the show. In addition, proper planning gives you the opportunity to maximize your schedule and spend some time outside of the booth. You will be able to report your observations that could be helpful in weeks to come.