5 tips for a successful CES
Over time, the Consumer Electronics Show has become as essential as it is criticized. It must be said that a victim of its own success, the biggest trade fair dedicated to consumer electronics no longer seemed to be the right place for professionals who want to create real interactions, leave with business opportunities, expand their network, learn more. more on their field of activity. The reason? The bidding. Too many people, too many products, too big (250,000 square meters…).
CES in figures
However, as the report published by Olivier Ezratty each year proves, there are many things to learn there. Furthermore, it is possible to leave with leads qualified, whether you are a startup or a large group. Here are our 5 tips to achieve this during the next edition which will take place from January 7 to 10 in Las Vegas.
1- When defining your goals, don’t think too “big”
As we saw above, CES is an extraordinary event, but with the right dose of preparation you can leave the event having fulfilled your objectives. And that already starts by defining them well in advance so as not to get lost among the hundreds of conferences and the thousands of stands distributed in three different places (Tech East, Tech West, Tech South).
Conference schedule: www.ces.tech/Schedule.aspx
CES 2020 app: www.ces.tech/Logistics/CES-App.aspx
Setting one, two or three priorities allows you to know how you will distribute and thus optimize your time during these few days. Do you especially want to meet people? If so, who would you like to meet? Is the goal to launch a new product? Promote your brand? Find inspiration from other brands? Depending on the budget, it may also be useful to surround yourself with a third party specializing in strategic consulting or business development who can draw up a plan likely to meet the objectives set and be in the right place at the right time. In any case, when doing your planning, keep in mind that going from one hall to another can take 30 minutes during the day and over an hour in the morning and when the show closes.
Additionally, it can be tempting to spend all of your time collecting information between sessions and exhibitions. But to be sure to give yourself time to maintain or create links, it is better to plan as much as possible the stands and conferences essential for you, while leaving yourself a little time between each one for prolonged discussions or meetings. impromptu.
Knowing that, we must also add the private events organized from evening to morning. This is what we will develop in point N ° 2.
2- Also take an interest in what is happening outside the show
As you will see in the next two points, a lot is actually happening outside of CES. This site, CES Partylist, references events that take place outside the exhibition center: cocktail evening organized by a group specializing in market research, networking event dedicated to marketing professionals or a simple opportunity to take advantage of a relaxed setting for more informal meetings, there are bound to be some that suit you. Here again, it is a question of finding out beforehand to know which ones are most likely to be useful to you, according to the organizer, the topic …
A good way to know where to go is also to look on social media to find your contacts who are going to CES and to follow the discussions that are created around the event, especially on Twitter.
3- Note that the “informal” lounge takes place in the suites of large hotels …
“There is a second aspect of the living room, just as important, that we do not show enough. Unlike other fairs – we could cite the IFA in Berlin for example – the CES is also the first annual meeting of all the players who participate in the design of all electronic devices. The ‘product’ teams of all the major brands of electronics are present, and consequently, all the suppliers of components, semiconductors, embedded software suppliers, ODMs… are also present. », Recalled Vincent Nallatamby, CEO of Tempow when he returned from CES last year in a column published on Frenchweb.
“All this is invisible to the eyes of an ordinary visitor. You will never see the top executives from Foxconn, Huawei, Samsung, Qualcomm or Amazon walking the aisles of CES. However, I can assure you that they are present. Everything takes place in the suites of the big hotels around the show. Obviously at the Venetian and Westgate, but also at Wynn, MGM or Mirage. Everywhere, the suites of the most beautiful hotels are requisitioned and transformed into meeting rooms for the duration of the show “.
If this type of business is part of your target, you should think about contacting them upstream to see if they organize this kind of meeting. To take it even further, instead of taking a stand stuck in the middle of a myriad of other players and where you will have a hard time moving the executives of these large companies, why not set up where they already are? The idea is to book a suite, or even to do it with other startups to share the costs, and to schedule appointments in advance.
4- Create “special” experiences for your prospects
CES in Las Vegas is an event that is out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to take the opportunity to do the same with some of your meetings. Whether it’s strengthening ties with a particular prospect or organizing a small event with several contacts: people who go to CES expect a little glitter … Especially, during those few days there are chances are that they are much more open to this kind of invitation than usual.
Depending on your budget, this could be an opportunity to invite them to a good restaurant. If it is not necessarily known for this, thehe city of Las Vegas is indeed home to some of the best establishments in the country, some of which bear the signature of chefs from France, such as the Guy Savoy Restaurant nestled within the Caesar Palace or Atelier Las Vegas Joël Robuchon, housed in the MGM Grand Hôtel et Casino, and where the latter’s classics are produced by French chef Jimmy Lisnard.
Now is the time to show your hospitality and impress your guests if you can. But you have to have thought about it beforehand to have the time to set the appointments, find the place that suits you, then make the corresponding reservations.
And as a reminder, CES is the perfect time to bring out your talents in terms of sociability or to force yourself a little: talk to your neighbor during conferences, introduce yourself as soon as you have the opportunity, take an interest in others, you never know what might come out of a conversation. It is not a question of pretending but of being really open to meetings. On such an event, topics to start a conversation are not difficult to find …
5- Don’t neglect the follow-up of your contacts
After four grueling days, now is not the time to completely put CES behind you. There remains the crucial organization of follow-up. A few days after CES, you can contact the people you met on site by e-mail. The approach and content then depends on the objective and where you were with them. If you didn’t do it during CES, now is also the time to follow them on social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter if applicable.
If you do not have any feedback after several weeks, remember to write it down to restart these contacts. Not all of them will be successful, but you will have completed the process.
In summary: preparation, knowledge of the workings of the show, openness and rigor in the follow-up should allow you to leave with really interesting contacts and not only with the feeling of having tested gadgets for 4 days.