CES, like gambling, is not for the faint of heart. High wagers and unexpected variables can cause heart palpitations for companies’ executives, marketers, and product and sales teams as they prepare for the largest consumer tech conference in the world. Without a crystal ball into what competitors are doing, it can be hard to focus and make an investment in CES feel a little like jumping off the Stratosphere Tower.
As with any long-planned, large investment, there are a few steps things companies can do for the best chance at a productive, successful show.
Here are three of our best pieces of advice to avoid gambling on your CES PR strategy:
Plan and execute early. CES occurs just after a popular period of national rest. Avoid the CES prep blues by getting everything set by Thanksgiving. When everyone jumps back into work after the New Year, only one week before the show begins, the mood will be as settled and as calm as possible.
There were 59,969 media mentions of CES last year thanks to 7,460 people who registered as media. Journalists often schedule back-to-back interviews with exhibitors to learn about the latest innovations, trends and news – and they book early. Whether you’re timing a launch for the show or don’t have anything shiny and new to show off, begin media outreach in early fall and set your meeting schedule by mid-November. Journalists’ calendars will be jam-packed by December.
Be kind; be courteous. Live by The Golden Rule with reporters. Let them know what they can expect at the booth and why they can’t miss it – and be honest. Send product or company information early and don’t exaggerate. Respect journalists’ time and do what you can to offer a seamless experience.
Be resourceful. You aren’t limited to the showroom floor so why should your opportunities? Grab media and analysts’ attention before the show floor opens at CES Media Days, two days of back-to-back exhibitor news conferences. Exhibitors can reserve media interview rooms and broadcast services in advance. Increase your booth traffic by submitting your product in TWICE’s Official CES Daily, the only show floor distributed publication. Last but not least, be mindful of CES deadlines, which can save you from scrambling last minute.
Think out-of-the-box to sidestep the fierce competition at CES. Offering a helpful connection or catch-up that may help a writer’s work later on in the year, without expecting anything in return, is making a smart investment in the future.
Halloween is around the corner. It’s best to know the news you’re announcing and have all initial content drafted, contracts signed and a media pitch out the door by then, to best manage the chaos. Our last bit of advice? Book a vacation – or at least a spa day – for late January. You’ll thank us later.