Consumer Electronics Show First Timer Guide

People from around the world converge in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (also known as CES).

Getting to the show takes planning. Navigating it takes experience.

If it’s something you like to do, it’s possible, so here’s a few tips to get there and enjoy yourself.

Event Registration, Hotel Booking & Airfare

Believe it or not, registration is the easiest part. It typically opens in the summer, when it’s free (yes… FREE).

Middle of December you discover you can’t go, you lose nothing. CES won’t do anything about it either.

If you wait, you could having to pay upwards to couple hundred dollars.

It’s risk free!

Hotel

CES made agreements with various hotels on The Strip to offer discounts, with free convention shuttle service to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

It’s cheaper to stay off The Strip, but you’ll be taking a cab all over.

At the end of the day, would cost about the same if you stayed on The Strip.

Parking basically doesn’t exist at the Las Vegas Convention Center, especially CES week, so don’t think about driving.

When you’re in Vegas, you’re going to the casinos, eat dinner, and attend parties, all of which are on The Strip.

Getting to Las Vegas

It’s recommended to use your favorite airline to get to Vegas, but check with them on the cancelation policy.

The busiest week at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is CES week, so they know they can charge little more then normal.

Book early for cheap deals.

For a cheaper transportation option, if you’re once of the lucky few in Southern California, Arizona, Utah or Nevada, consider driving, where parking is free at the casinos, and you can park as long as you want.

Attire

If anything is recommended… WEAR SNEAKERS.

Sneakers are lot more comfortable then loafers for walking, which is about all you’ll be doing during CES.

Loafers maybe are more professional, but it’s so crowded, everyone is more concerned about seeing booths, and not tripping over people then your attire.

Face it, it’s a bunch of techies, not Fortune 500 CEOs, gathered in one place, so everyone is essentially casual.

Your legs and feet will be shot at the end of the show, just not as bad if you wore loafers.

Show Planning

CES offers an exhibitor database and map to highlight where companies will be.

The database is hard to use, search and navigate.

It’s still good enough to locate where exhibitors will be located.

You can save a list of companies you wish to see in the database, but  wi-fi and mobile data connections virtually don’t exist, due to 150K techies attempting to use the same networks. Use old fashioned pen & paper.

The reality is, you’re going to stumble upon a lot of exhibits that are on the way, around or close by the ones you want to see, and you’re going to stop by those as well.

If you isolate yourself to only the ones you plan to see in advance, you’re limiting your exposure in what’s being shown, and being closed minded, plus you’ll be stressed out and not enjoying the time.

Convention Time Management 

After you attend one show, and take the time to plan what you want to see, you can see a lot.

You’re not going to see everything, but you can see a lot in 2 days, with simple time management and “ambiguous” planning.

Get an idea of what exhibitors you want to see, to get a general idea of what area(s) you need to go to.

When you’re in one area, see the exhibits you want to see, and others you stumble upon, before going to another.

Keep in mind, the convention is in three facilities, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Hotel (formally Las Vegas Hilton), and The Venetian Hotel.

The Las Vegas Convention Center has multiple halls, Las Vegas Hilton has a few and the Venetian is in multiple floors (map).

Have you gone, and feel like I missed an item or two?
If so, please share in the comments below.