5 Factors That Push The CES 2015 from Good to Great For Tech Marketers
by Paul Snyder, Relationship Director at Write2Market
I am a veteran CES media coach–I’ve taken quite a few firms through the gauntlet in Vegas. Here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Time – No matter your product or role, you are going to need plenty of time before the event to be successful. You know how great cooks make a big deal out of “mise en place?” Preparation for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as far ahead as you’re able is a lot like that, especially regarding industry leadership access and potential speaking opportunities. You will need to dig deep – there are multiple specialized conference “tracks” – the Digital Health Summit, Mommy Tech, etc. and tons of associated opportunities.
If you’re going to submit for a coveted access/speaking opportunity at CES, those submissions open in late summer and close two-three months before the show. You will need to identify and talk to the track’s programmer.
Not enough time to plan? We’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you. Join our CES 2015 Media Tour.
You should plan on two weeks to identify your angle, and draft your submission, two weeks for your internal editing and approval process, and one week for contingencies and get it submitted before the deadline. Even if you don’t plan to pursue a speaking opportunity, you will need to prepare many months in advance to maximize investments of time and money. Are you doing a booth? Is it ready? Is the branding up to date?
2. Reality check, and a great story for CES journalists– Are you going to try to win on tech? CES is the epicenter of NEW consumer tech – curved TVs and phones, wearable tech, which was the big deal in 2014, automotive tech, things that fly, healthcare tech, etc. If you don’t think you are going to win at CES on tech, that’s okay–but do make sure you have a great story or fresh angle for your gadget, electronics, or solution.
There are thousands of companies competing for thousands of attendees’ and media members’ attention. You must ask yourself, how are we going to truly break through the cacophony, land briefings, coverage and maximize our ROI on the CES venture? For a real life perspective on a new gadget’s intro at CES, check out our case study for Variable Technologies.
3. Goals and how you plan to achieve them. Your goals will vary widely, especially if it is the company’s first trip to Las Vegas for CES versus its 10th. Team-endorsed goals regarding reach, be it attendee reach or media, analyst or industry influencer reach are essential to planning, execution and assigning value to measure back against expenses to determine ROI.
4. A real budget. Accurately measuring total expenditure on CES participation is essential to accurately measuring ROI. Make sure your budget includes central hotels (book those EARLY!), airfare, car services, taxi fares, tips, meals, and materials (think electronic press kits, your floor exhibit if applicable, and swag – another item that needs to show up months in advance on your prep schedule).
5. The briefing book – This is often the most valuable document for the marketer at CES. It has everyone’s contact information, flight information, hotel information, social media handles, passwords and CES associated hashtags, press room locations, a detailed schedule of daily events especially briefings and the skinny on who you’re meeting with, what they’re most interested in and why, drop-bys, evening parties, etc. A great briefing book can make or break your week at CES. Need some support on that–check out our CES 2015 Media Tour–there are spaces available through December for qualifying new products.