CES Checklist for Vendors

When attending any sort of trade show, there is no denying that there is an awful lot of planning that goes into it. This is certainly the c...
Trade Show Shipping
December 4, 2019
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When attending any sort of trade show, there is no denying that there is an awful lot of planning that goes into it. This is certainly the case if you are planning on attending the famous CES exhibition, which is why we have put this CES checklist together. Below, we will provide you with a timeline of everything that you need to do building up to the show. This guide can be useful for those attending this year, as well as providing imperative information for anyone looking to make their introduction at next year’s show. After all, ideally, you are going to start planning your attendance from a year-out. 

CES, which stands for Consumer Electronics Showcase, is an annual trade show that focuses on innovations in technology. As an exhibitor, you need to follow a CES checklist for vendors to make sure your booth is ready when you are. From planning things 12 months in advance to getting ready the day of the show, there are simple steps you can follow to be ready for the razzle dazzle at the CES show.

What is CES?What is CES

CES is a trade show that gathers the best of the best from around the world when it comes to consumer technology. CES has served as the proving ground for emerging technologies and innovators for the past 50 years. The annual CES show is a product of the Consumer Technology Association.

There are more than 4,500 exhibiting businesses at CES. This includes technology delivery system suppliers, content providers, consumer technology hardware companies, as well as a huge assortment of developers and manufacturers too. There are more than 170,000 attendees across 160 countries, as well as over 250 conference sessions. This represents an excellent opportunity for businesses to get their brand, products, and services in front of a great and varied audience from across the globe.

How Do I Prepare for CES?How Do I Prepare for CES

If you are planning on attending CES, you may be feeling at a bit of a loss regarding where to start. Here are some of the things that you will need to do:


  • Make the decision – There is only one place to begin, and this is by actually deciding to exhibit at the event. The sooner you make the decision, the better. You will want to make sure you are able to secure a booth before they are all taken. 
  • Bring something new to the table – You need to plan the technology you are going to show off at this event. Playing the media game is going to be incredibly difficult if you do not have something new to showcase. You also need to make sure you have a unique and/or interesting angle. With such fierce competition, having something new is not always going to be enough. A ‘first’ is always a good sell. For example, in 2019, LG showcased the first rollable TV in the world. Yubico also debuted their first Lightning security key for iPhones at the 2019 show. 
  • Sign up for the media-only and pre-show events – You are also going to need to make sure you prepare for anything that is going on around the event. The pre-show events are only for the media, which means reporters have the opportunity to try out your product and ask more questions while they are learning about your company. 
  • Put together your team – You also need to put together a team that is going to run your booth and demo your product. You also need to think about whether or not you want employees to be brought in that can speak to your customers. You will also need to assemble your PR team with established media connections and CES experience so that they are able to answer any questions effectively. Once you have finished assembling your team, you can then begin to train them properly. 
  • Think like the media – Once you have signed up to all of these events, you need to start thinking like the media. This is the only way to make sure you provide them with something that is media-worthy. What are the topics that the media are covering at the moment? 
  • Determine how you are going to draw in a crowd – There are so many different techniques that companies have used to try and draw in a crowd. This includes everything from good old product demos to chefs to even celebrity appearances. You need to think of how you are going to attract people to your trade show booth. However, your most effective tool should be your product. If you are going to be able to attract people to your booth with just your product, then you know you are onto a winner. 
  • Prepare your materials – You are also going to need to prepare your materials. You do not need to bother with a brochure or USB stick. You simply need to make sure that all reporters are going to have access to the information they need via a simple link. You can provide this link either during the show or in a follow-up. Make sure you include detailed specs, availability, pricing, high-res images and such like. If you are thinking about doing a giveaway, make sure you provide something that your audience is going to value. A lot of companies give away candy, for example. All this is going to do is attract hungry strangers to your both. 
  • Nail down the logistics – The final piece of the puzzle is to make sure you organize the logistics side of things. You are going to need to get your booth and all of your products to the venue after all. CES is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. This is where aligning with an experienced freight forwarding company comes in. 

How Much Does it Cost to Exhibit at CES?How Much Does it Cost to Exhibit at CES

Of course, you need to make sure that you can afford to exhibit at CES. In terms of specific prices, these are going to differ from year-to-year. However, according to TechCrunch, the event will cost approximately $8,000 for a booth. 

What about those who want to attend? In order to be able to attend CES, you need to ensure you provide your business credentials to the company so that your affiliation with the consumer technology sector can be verified. Any of the following will be accepted as proof of your industry affiliation:

  • A link to a media article that you were cited or quoted in, or that you wrote, which shows that you are an industry professional. This must have been published within the last 12 months.
  • A link to your business website that shows your name on an employee roster.
  • Verification of your employment on the business letterhead.
  • A business card that matches the name of the business you are attending. 

You are also going to need to pay a fee in order to attend. At the moment, you have three different options; CES registration, starter conference pass, and deluxe conference pass. Prices are set to increase on December 18th 2019. At the moment, CES registration costs $100, yet it will increase to $300 in December. The start conference pass costs $700 at the moment, yet it is set to raise to £900. The early bird price for the deluxe conference pass is $1,400. However, this is also going to increase to $1,700 in December. 

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CES Checklist for VendorsCES Checklist for Vendors

When it comes to attending a trade show, you are going to have so many different factors to consider. Planning a year in advance is recommended. 

12 Months Before the Show

So, let’s begin by taking a look at some of the different steps that you should take around 12 months before the show takes place. This involves identifying the role that the trade show is going to serve as part of your overall sales strategy and marketing campaign. Why is attending CES important for you and your business? Once you have established this, you will be best placed to get buy-in from your organization. You then need to make sure you put together a detailed forecast and budget.

In addition to this, there are a number of other things that you should do around nine to 12 months prior to the show. This includes setting certain objectives for your show, for example, publicity secured, leads generation, and the number of product sales. 

Twelve months out is also a good time for you to reserve your display stand space with CES. Make sure you get full details from them about exhibit requirements. You should also put together a trade show marketing plan that uses a mixture of promotional methods in order to teach prospects. Consider splitting your plan into 3 sections. It should include pre-show marketing, then marketing for at the show, and finally, post-show marketing.

6 Months Before the Show

Now, we move into the different activities that you should carry out around six months prior to CES. You might start by coming up with a motivating sales message that delivers your key points. It should do this within 30 seconds or less. You and your employees need to make sure this message is rehearsed so you know how to say it confidently and maximize the success of it. 

You also need to figure out your needs in terms of graphics, layout, and exhibit design. You can do this yourself or outsource to an expert. This all depends on the capability and design talent of your team. Think about your lighting needs as well. Depending on the products you are going to be exhibiting, lighting is going to play a very important role. 

You should need to determine the marketing and literature materials you are going to require for the show. You should then start designing and printing the work. It is a good idea to start looking at different promotional strategies, including high-impact trade show giveaways, that are going to enable you to attract visitors to your exhibition area. 

3 Months Before the Show

We’re getting closer and closer to the big day now. There are a number of important things you are going to need to do at this point. This includes launching pre-show marketing initiatives, as well as starting to make the required travel arrangements. This may include car rental reservations, and hotel and airfare reservations, if required. 

Now is also a good time to determine how you are going to ship your display and other items for CES. You also need to determine your requirements in terms of staffing. You should plan training sessions and develop booth schedules too.

You should also continue to work with your vendors on your marketing materials, exhibit items, and your display booth. You should confirm the dates for delivery and adhere to your trade show planning timeline. Now is also the right time to order promotional items or giveaways.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

1 Month Before the Show

CES is in sight now. There are a number of different steps that need to be completed a month in advance. This includes scheduling dinners and other meetings to be held at the show with customers, distributors, and/or prospects. You should also finalize all travel arrangements. The marketing materials, promotional items, and booth display production needs to be finalized now too, as well as confirming the shipping dates. 

Between now and a week prior to the trade show, you should double-check that all action steps on your timeline have been covered. You should also confirm all of the shipping arrival dates for your materials, promotional items, and booth display, as well as completing staff training.

You also need to schedule staff training, make all travel arrangements, and continue pre-show marketing activities. Finally, put together follow-up packets and send these immediately to your leads following the show. 

Day of the Show

On the day of the show, you need to make sure that all of your employees have been briefed so that everything runs as smoothly as possible. You will have also been given timings with regards to the running of everything, so make sure that you adhere to this. Being organized in advance will ensure the day of CES is a breeze. 

There are also a number of different steps you need to take immediately after the trade show. Compare your budget to your expenses to determine your ROI. You also need to assess the success of your participation in CES compared with the objectives you outlined in your trade show plan. Furthermore, make sure you evaluate your leads. You should also send follow-up packets and make contact as appropriate. 

Shipping to CES with R+L Global Logistics

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different qualities you need to be looking for when it comes to choosing the best company to help you with trade show shipping for CES. This is one of the most famous trade shows in the world, and it is not hard to see why you’re considering making the most of it. You will need a company to help you with this, though, and that’s where  R+L Global Logistics comes in.

Our trade show shipping team is dedicated to making your requirements are met for all sorts of shows, including everything on your SEMA checklist. With over 50 years of combined experience across our leadership team, you can be sure of exceptional results when using our service.

Trade show logistics is an area that we have a lot of experience it. We have built up strong relationships with exhibit systems providers over the years. These providers rely on us and trust us to provide a seamless customer experience. With us, you can be sure you’re in safe hands. We have warehouses across the country, as well as having strong relationships with leading shows and being partners with exhibit providers.

This makes certain that we have all bases covered when it comes to providing exceptional trade show logistics services, from the CES checklist to getting your booth there on time and intact. If you would like more information about the trade show trucking companies services that we provide or you want a free trade show freight shipping quote, all you need to do is give us a call at (866) 415 8986 or reach out online.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

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