Plug in at the CES Trade Show

December 21, 2018
Laura Isaacs
Voiced by Amazon Polly

It’s time to geek out: The CES trade show is right around the corner. This annual show turns glittering Las Vegas into a virtual Mecca for all things tech and electronics.The annual CES show requires that exhibitors bring their top game to the show. Learn about what it takes to be an exhibitor at CES.

CES, which stands for Consumer Electronics Show, is a world gathering of tech industry leaders who thrive on the business of connecting end users with the latest in electronics. Exhibiting companies display nearly everything in tech, giving you the perfect opportunity to show off your goods.

What is CES?

For more than 50 years, CES has been the gathering place for leaders in the technology industry. New products are displayed each year. Tech keeps evolving and today you’ll find everything from wearable technology to self-driving cars on the trade show floor at CES. If you’re in the business of consumer technologies, you need to be at CES.

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CES is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). CTA is a 2,300 member strong standards and trade organization. CTA’s is focused on public policy, events, market research, and helping its members implement technical standards.

You’ll find CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center, a 3.2 million-square-foot facility. The convention center is located just off the Las Vegas Strip. CES events also take place at other venues around Sin City. Las Vegas has more than 150,000 hotel rooms. The ample space of the facility and plentiful accomodations make Las Vegas the perfect destination for CES, as the show can draw more than 180,000 attendees.  

More than 4,500 companies are slated to showcase products at CES 2019. These exhibitors include everything from manufacturers to developers, along with content management delivery, suppliers of consumer technology hardware and more.

A number of major products that have become everyday technology with initially unveiled and released to the world at CES. In fact, numbers from CTA suggest that more than 20,000 new products have been launched at CES since its initial event in 1967. Major product demos and debuts at CES include:

  • Pocket radios debuted in 1967
  • Home VCRs debuted in 1970
  • Atari computers debuted in 1979
  • Commodore computers debuted in 1982
  • Blu-Ray discs debuted in 2003
  • Large format plasma TVs debuted in 2005, when Samsung showed off a 102-inch model
  • Even bigger plasma TVs were the hot ticket at CES in 2008, when Panasonic showed off a 150-inch model
  • Tablets and 4G smartphones drew interest in 2011
  • Smart TVs debuted in 2014 with LG’s webOS

Other items that debuted at CES include camcorders (1981), CD players (1981), DVD (1996), HDTV (1998), driverless car technology (2013) and 3D printing (2014). For many tech consumers, imagining life without these products might seem bleak. CES is the ultimate platform for technology and discovering the next big thing in tech.

CES Trade Show Schedule

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If you’re an attendee or an exhibitor at CES, you’ll want to keep track of the schedule. CES comes just days after the New Year’s ball drops. You’ll find CES shows on the following dates:

  • CES 2019 is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 8 through Friday, Jan. 11
  • CES 2020 is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 7 through Friday, Jan. 10
  • CES 2021 is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 6 through Friday, Jan. 9
  • CES 2022 is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 5 through Friday, Jan. 8

If you’re looking at a schedule of day to day events at CES, there’s an app for that. You can download the CES app from your device’s app store. Versions of the app are available for both Android and iOS devices. You can also find the CES schedule online.

CES By the Numbers

More than 180,000 people flocked to Las Vegas for CES 2018. This number includes exhibitors and attendees  alike. Of these over 180,000 people, nearly 70,000 were industry attendees from the U.S. More than 37,000 of the industry attendees traversed the globe to get to CES from another country. More than 45,000 attendees were exhibitor personnel from the U.S.; close to 30,000 were international exhibitors.

Media members also made a showing at CES. More than 4,000 domestic media members showed up, along with more than 2,100 international journalists and members of the media. With all those journalists and media members at CES, it’s not surprise that the show gets lots of media attention. According to information from CTA, CES 2018 earned 107,120 media mentions. This adds up to 71.7 billion potential impressions during January 2018 alone.

There are more than 30 categories of items on the trade show floor at CES. You’ll find tech including:

  • 3D Printing
  • Accessibility
  • Advertising, Marketing, Content and Entertainment
  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality and Gaming
  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  • Audio and Video
  • Baby Tech
  • CES Sports Zone
  • Country Pavilions
  • Design and Source Showcase
  • Digital Money
  • Drones
  • Enterprise Solutions
  • Eureka Park
  • Family and Kids Tech
  • Fitness
  • Health and Wellness
  • High-Tech Retailing
  • Home Cinema
  • IoT Infrastructure
  • iProducts
  • Resilience
  • Self-Driving Technology
  • Sleep Tech
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Home
  • Sports Tech
  • Tourism
  • Vehicle Technology
  • Wearables
  • Wireless Devices and Services

Social media buzzes with information from CES. According to numbers from CTA, there were 1 million social media mentions of #CES2018 and @CES mentions during the 2018 show. CES was active on SnapChat during the show, with 49 million views. Official CES videos on Facebook garnered 224,000 views, while 37,000 Instagram photos were shared tagged with #CES2018. With all the social media frenzy around CES, it is no surprise that the show is one of the year’s most important events in tech.

CES is also one of the largest shows held each year in Las Vegas. It takes 18 days to set up, run and breakdown the show.

Who Attends CES?

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CES is generally not open to the public. Attendees must get approval in advance. This trade-only event can only be attended by those affiliated with the consumer technology industry. Additionally, attendees must be over age 18. Friends, family members and children of industry members cannot attend the show.

According to information from CTA, attendees must submit business credentials in advance to get access to CES to prove their members of the consumer technology industry. Examples of acceptable credentials include:

  • A business card that matches your name and the company you are representing
  • A letter verifying employment at a consumer technology company on company letterhead
  • A link to your online company roster showing name and title
  • A link to an article showing your expertise in consumer technology

CES attendees come with a variety of job titles. According to information from CTA’s CES 2018 Audit Summary Report, common job titles among CES attendees include:

  • Analyst
  • Buyer
  • Content Developer
  • Distributor
  • Engineer
  • Manager/Product Manager/Store Manager
  • Manufacturer’s Representative
  • Agent/Partner
  • Production Technician
  • Systems Integrator/Installer

CES attendees come from all around the world. Though a majority of attendees come from the U.S., you’ll also find folks from many other countries on the trade show floor. Attendees come from other countries including:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • France
  • Taiwan
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Mexico
  • Hong Kong

CES attendees are a diverse group who represent many facets of the consumer technology industry.

About the CES Trade Show Venue

CES takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s World Trade Center. This 3.2 million-square-foot center is one of the busiest facilities in the world.

The Center has been known as the World Trade Center Las Vegas since 2010. The moniker came from the desire to bring more international events to Las Vegas. The Las Vegas site is the only international destination with a WTC name that is on the site of a convention center.

The Las Vegas Convention Center and WTC are known for being a versatile facility. Two million square feet of the convention center are designated as the WTC, along with 145 meeting rooms. The grand lobby links the exhibit space and meeting rooms, providing the perfect venue for a large event like CES.

Tips for CES Exhibitors

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Technology insiders might be in the know about their products, but it’s important to be in the know about the show, too. You’ll find more than just tech companies at CES: there will be retailers, manufacturers, service providers, distributors, buyers, shippers and suppliers at the show, too. The CES trade show usually isn’t open to the public, so you’ll find many insiders who are there to network.

If you’re among the 70,000 individuals walking through the doors to exhibit at CES, you’ll want to take advantage of the following tips and tricks to make the most of your time at the show:

 

  • Dress for comfort: CES takes place in the Las Vegas Convention Center and at several other venues around town. The convention center alone spans 3.2 million square feet, so you might want to keep in mind all the walking you’ll be doing at CES. Comfortable shoes are a must. Some CES attendees might find themselves walking more than 5 miles a day to take in the show and everything is has to offer.
  • Pack a back-up battery: If you’re a tech guru, your most-used gadget might be your smartphone. No matter whether you’re loyal to Apple or Android, your smartphone is a powerful device. Using your device all day at a show like CES can quickly wear down the battery. Packing a back-up battery pack so you can charge your phone on the go is a smart move.
  • Make a strong first impression: It’s a fact: First impressions matter. Even scientific studies reflect this. Your first impression has a strong correlation to the long-term status of your relationship with a person or a brand. This means there is no time to spare when it comes to making a strong presentation and first impression. Understand how your brand reflects with consumers and build your booth around projecting the best of your brand.
  • Remember to eat and drink: When you’re on the go at a show like CES all day, you might be too busy to make time for 3 squares. It’s important to remember to eat and drink all day. Las Vegas is practically in a desert, which means your body might be more prone to dehydration here than at home. When you’re checking out other exhibits, working with the media and networking with industry insiders, it’s important to be hydrated and satiated.
  • Create an experience: Demonstrating tech can make an interactive experience. Letting your booth’s visitors and industry insiders get a hands-on, interactive impression of your product can be a key component in how your brand is viewed and accepted. Create an experience for trade show visitors and reap in the benefits.
  • Give yourself travel time: Don’t just rely on Google maps. If you’re planning to be at a session or event, it is wise to give yourself a few extra minutes to get there. In fact, you might want to give yourself an entire extra hour to get there. Las Vegas traffic can be congested and if you’re driving or Ubering down the strip you’ll need extra time to get there.
  • Don’t rely on “booth babes” to draw in customers: There’s something to be said about women in technology, but “booth babes” brought controversy to a CES show a few years ago. When a certain cell phone manufacturer brought out models in bodypaint to help sell phones at CES 2013, they met backlash. In the past, using attractive models to bring attention to a booth was a common practice. Today it’s best to let your tech shine.
  • Send your most knowledgeable staff: If you’re presenting at a trade show, it is important that you let your staff make your products shine. Don’t send rookie staff to the show alone. If you send a newbie, consider also sending an experienced staff member so they can watch and learn from a pro.

 

CES Show Logistics with R+L Global

There’s a lot more to showing at CES than brining a great product. From designing the perfect booth to getting it all set up to perfecting a flawless demonstration, there’s a lot that goes into showing at CES. One thing you don’t have to worry about is CES trade show logistics.

By working with an experience provider like R+L Global Logistics, you can remove the hassle of getting your booth to the show. R+L Global as the experience, knowledge and services needed to get it all there with integrity. Make sure your booth, technology, promotional items, marketing collateral and other CES essentials arrive safely and on time.

According to information from the official CES Exhibitor Guide, Freeman is the handling contractor for the show. Freeman is a big company that helps put on trade shows and events nationwide. R+L Global has worked with Freeman on multiple occasions and has the relationship needed for smooth delivery, handling and installation.

Freeman is responsible for all on-site freight and materials handling at CES. This means they oversee use of the marshaling yard and loading docks at the convention center during the specified move-in and move-out times. It is important that your booth freight arrive during the move-in times. This is one reason why working with a professional logistics provider like R+L Global is important to your brand’s CES success. You’ll find that R+L Global Logistics has the professionalism, experience and working relationships with contractors needed to make the shipping process simple.

Additionally, Freeman crews are responsible for unloading freight from “for hire” carriers. This means you won’t have to touch your freight and materials when shipping to CES. The on-hand labor available will make the delivery and unloading process hassle-free for exhibitors. R+L Global can work with Freeman to efficiently handle all your freight and shipping needs.

R+L Global Logistics can offer other trade show logistics services to make CES a breeze. This lets you focus on your presentation and helps you get the word out about your technology. R+L Global products and services include:

  • On-call personnel available 24/7 to answer any questions and provide information
  • Both domestic and international shipping options
  • Packing, crating and packaging services
  • Show-to-show and advance warehouse shipping options
  • Truckload, LTL, air and ground expedite services to meet all your needs
  • Warehousing and storage to save space at your facility
  • White glove service and debris removal

You’ll also find that R+L Global Logistics is ready to offer other benefits including:

  • All risk cargo insurance
  • 24/7 live tracking so you’ll always know where your freight it
  • Professional, timely and thorough updates
  • Visibility and transparency

Take advantage of R+L Global Logistics’ services to get your booth and materials to the CES trade show safely and on time. Chat, email or call R+L Global at (866) 415-8986 today to get started with our trade show shipping services.

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