I myself have been going to CES for 5 years now. For ThinkComputers it is really the highlight of the entire year, we really don’t attend any other trade shows. We get to see the latest technology, new products and catch up with old friends, not to mention getting to spend a week in Vegas. Something really stood out to me this year during CES…it was very small! Also this year CEA (the company that runs CES) tried to kick out many exhibitors who opted to use hotel rooms instead of paying for a booth.
Another really cool event I was able to attend during CES this year was Lenovo’s Blogger Nights. This was a 3 day event hosted at AquaKnox at the Venetian. The entire event was hosted by Lenovo, but each night was co-hosted by someone else. Wednesday night was co-hosted by social media club, Thursday Night was co-hosted by Social Media Jungle and Friday night was co-hosted by GDGT. Because CES was so crazy we were only able to make it on the last night, which was Friday.
The PC Race is one of the best events to attend during CES. Not only is it for a good cause, but you really get to network with a lot of people and hell it has the best food! Also it’s probably the only place you will be able to find most of the tech media all in one place! So the way this event works is that 30 contestants all tech media see who can build a computer the quickest with the winner getting $10,000 towards the charity of their choice. Second and third place also get cash prizes for charity and everyone’s computer that gets built does get donated to their charity so it is a win-win!
One thing that is great about going to conferences is all the free swag you get. Since I go to these events as media many companies have made up gift bags especially for media members. Another thing that I’ve also noticed is that the more established your site is the better swag you get! This year I really didn’t want to pick up that much swag mainly because I never really use half of it and it is a pain to pack in my suitcase, but I did get quite a few useful things this year.
Well it’s that time of year again, off to Vegas for CES. This trip is always a lot of fun and it sure gives me a break from all of the holiday madness of the past month. It also is good to get out of Pittsburgh and the cold, although it is only around 50 degrees in Vegas it is sure a lot better than like 15-20 degrees in Pittsburgh, and there is no snow!