Authored by Liz Reilly and Julie Solomon
CES is one of the largest and most influential tech events, a place where technology companies from around the world come together to demonstrate and promote their latest breakthroughs and innovative products. Typically, there are over 3,000 exhibitors present, 170 countries and regions represented and 4,000 media members registered.
If you’re in the consumer electronics space, attending CES is a must to help build brand awareness and connect with potential partners.
Considering attending next year? Here’s what you should expect and how to start preparing now.
Plan an exciting announcement
The CES trade show is bustling with thousands of people and companies fighting to stand out in the crowd and in front of the media. To break through the noise, it’s important to plan an exciting company announcement to coincide with the event. It could be the launch of a new product or service, a notable innovation to your existing technology or a new partnership announcement.
Once you have an announcement and timeline in place, work with team members who will be attending CES in person to nail down the messaging you want to share at the event. Take time to host messaging sessions and prep meetings to ensure everyone on the show floor is sharing consistent language with potential partners, consumers and interested reporters.
Attract media attention
You should be gathering press assets and compiling a media kit that houses product images, videos, a press release and a product FAQ sheet. This ensures reporters have accurate, easily accessible information to craft their stories.
An unforgettable, interactive product demo on the trade show floor is also key to garnering media attention. Consider what you’d be compelled to stop and visit if you were there in person. Some past examples: A cooking technology client invited renowned chefs to prepare food using its product, while a wireless technology company let national reporters try out its innovative, new charging product firsthand.
Hire a PR team
We recommend beginning work with a PR agency by October. By starting early, we’re able to align on your goals for CES, while also getting ahead of media outreach to reporters.
Typically, the final media list for CES isn’t available until December. By reaching out to reporters who attended the previous year and gauging who’s attending this year, our team can get on the media’s radar ahead of other companies attending.
During CES itself, we recommend having a PR point person on the floor to assist you with media interviews – staffing, coordination, scheduling, etc. We have seen interview opportunities increase when you have a PR professional at the event, as they’re able to identify and introduce the company spokesperson to additional media members who may be perusing the booth.
Your PR team will also flag press coverage in real-time, along with the ROI from these articles such as increased web traffic, new users to your website and social engagements.
At the show, your team is going to want to focus on making the most of your investment by speaking with potential customers and buyers. Leave the PR to the professionals to proactively schedule interviews ahead of CES, land press coverage during the event and support your team in person in Las Vegas.
Taking part in CES can deliver immense value for your brand and product if executed properly. Starting the prep work now ensures the greatest success come January. Still have questions about attending CES and what to expect? Reach out and one of our trade show pros will be in touch.