As the year comes to an end that means the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is right around the corner. I’ve been going to CES since 2006 and I have learned quite a lot since that first trip where I was totally clueless. This guide should help you survive CES even if you have attended the show before.
Make use of the Monorail – This is one of the most useful things during CES. The Las Vegas monorail will take you from most of the hotels on the strip to the convention center…in 6 minutes. No taxi is going to get you there faster than that, hell you will most likely wait in a taxi line longer than that. A 3-day pass for the monorail is around $30-40, you could easily spend more than that per day on taxi’s. My first year I spent close to $300 on taxi’s just the first 2 days of CES!
Wear comfortable shoes – CES is the largest trade show in North America, which means there is going to be a lot to see. This means you are going to be doing a lot of walking. Make sure you have comfortable shoes or you are going to end up with blisters on your feet. This has happened to me quite a few times.
Make sure your room has a fridge – Most hotels will give you a free mini-fridge if you request one. This will allow you to store drinks etc. You don’t want to have to leave your hotel late at night to go get a cold drink. This just gives you easy access.
Find out where companies are located before you schedule your meetings – The Las Vegas convention center is HUGE! Before you schedule your meetings find out where the company you will be meeting with is located. You don’t want to have to walk across the entire convention center 10 times for different meetings. Also many companies are setup in hotels so schedule accordingly.
Take advantage of the free lunch / dinners – If you are a member of the press you are provided with a free lunch each day of CES, take advantage of it! CES is a busy week and you can forget about eating because there is so much going on. Without food your body is going to shut down and you don’t want that to happen during CES. Many of the events have free food as well.
Attend the Parties – There are normally 3-4 parties a night during CES. Even if you are tired I suggest attending them. First because they are the best networking events and second because they will allow you to wind down at the end of the day.
I hope this guide helps you survive CES and if you will be in Vegas in January let me know!