Last year, more than 177,000 people from all over the world came to Las Vegas for CES 2016–with over 81% of the countries in the world being represented. This year, they’re projecting record-breaking attendance numbers. And there are a few things you need to know if you’re planning to attend: how to stand out from hundreds of thousands of people with the same goal and how to get the most out of your time out there. Four days may seem like a long time, but your time is extremely precious and you need to make the most of it.
1. Plan Your Schedule and Prioritize Events As Much As Possible
You can spend weeks planning out your time at CES, but inevitably something will fall through, leading to not everything going according to plan; there’s simply too much going on at CES. The easiest way to try to avoid absolute chaos is by prioritizing events or meetings you have planned. If you need to choose one over another because something ran over, transportation is late or it simply takes longer than you thought to get from point A to point B (which happens more than you anticipate), you’ll already know which one is more important.
2. Learn Local Transportation Options
Use this resource as your guide, and note the following tips:
- There are very long lines for the shuttle buses. While they do move quickly, don’t plan on quickly jumping on one to get to your next meeting. It probably won’t go according to plan, so allow some extra time.
- Uber/Lyft is a tossup- the reliability of these services depends on how many people are looking for a ride at the same time. We recommend sticking to the Uber pickup and dropoff locations, or you’ll find it extremely hard to find your Uber at the event locations.
- The monorail is reliable, but you’ll probably need to resort to the buses or Uber to get exactly where you want to go.
3. Find Opportunities on the CES Website
Click the “Events & Experiences” tab on the CES 2017 website to find opportunities to get your startup noticed. There are networking events, media events, television opportunities, Shark Tank casting calls and so much more that will help you and your business. There are certainly a handful of both free and paid opportunities that you can take advantage of while at CES.
4. Search www.meetup.com For Events To attend While At CES
These events are not all necessarily endorsed by CES, but they’re held during CES because they’re meant for that audience. Take a look at all of the different meetups and opportunities you can find during the event (that are relevant to your startup) and sign up to attend as many as possible. It’s very possible that you might do most of your networking at these events.
5. Bring A Lot Of Business Cards
You’ll meet many people at CES, so be sure to bring plenty of business cards. Make sure they’re up to date with your contact info and website where you want to drive interested parties for more information.
6. Build An Email List While You’re There
In today’s digital world, there are few things more valuable to your marketing efforts than a good email list. Having a way to collect people’s email addresses while you’re at CES is a great way to build up your list. Tip: try to offer an incentive for signing up, such as a free app download or some other type of SWAG!
7. Download CES’s Media List To Build A Custom List
If you are an exhibitor, you’ll have access to the CES media list–use it. If you’re not an exhibitor and you only have access to the showrooms, don’t worry. Asking around ahead of time will often lead you to someone who might be willing to share their list with you. And, it’s ok if you just can’t get access to it; if you’ve done any PR work at all for your startup, you know the outlets you want to write about you, and you can dig a little deeper to find the specific journalists you want to write about you too. Do some research on Google or Twitter to see what journalists are talking about attending CES and go from there.
8. Create An Online Media Kit To Provide Interested Media With More Info
This can be as simple as a Dropbox or Google Drive folder that contains all the info a journalist might need to write a story about your startup. Think about including a list of features and benefits, specifications, founder/team info, hi-res photos, videos, logos and more. Just make sure it’s put together neatly, professionally and it’s easy to access. This can be the key to securing solid media coverage while at CES!
9. Create a One-Pager Info Sheet to Hand Out
When you’re talking to someone and they want to know more about your startup, have this sheet handy. Make sure it looks attractive and includes the top benefits of your product, some photos and a link to your online media kit.
10. Bring Your Product With You for Demos
People are going to want to see what your product can do. If it’s small enough, take it with you and show people how it works, and take some extra samples to give to journalists you want to write about you. Being able to show a functioning product adds trust and credibility to your pitch, and a tangible product will increase your chances of someone writing about it!
We’ll be at CES this week, so please get in touch if you’d like to chat more about how we can help bring your startup to market!
Note: This content was taken from an article originally written by Jessica Chesney of Command Partners and published by The Next Web.