Behind the Scenes: CES 2014 Planning and Organizing, Not as Easy as You Think

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Every year there is this event. The International CES. Some of you might have heard of it. It is the single largest tech event in the world. It kicks off every year in January in Las Vegas. The show covers all aspects of technology from next years TV’s, Cars, Connected Homes, Start Ups, Tablets, Phones, Accessories and everything else in between. New products get announced, new concepts get shown off and upcoming technology makes the headlines across the globe. It spans 1.9 million net square feet, and that just covers the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton and The Venetian. That number doesn’t take into account the numerous suites and meetings held at the Bellagio, The Pallazo and countless other hotels up and down the strip.

How does a site, like ours, plan for such a massive event? Very carefully. Seriously though, it is nothing short of a tedious task. So I thought that it might be interesting for us to share a little bit of what goes into attending this show.

International CES 2014
In past years there have only been two of us on the floor. Most of the time was spent moving from meeting to meeting for 7 days straight. All in an attempt to see as much as we could see to report back to you guys about later. One sad fact and truth about an event this massive, is the overwhelming amount of people sucking the life out of data connections everywhere. Sure, there is a press room for us to visit and get things out, but they too are crowded. This year however, we are fortunate enough to have 6 guys on the ground. Bonus for us and for you guys. I thought planning with a crew would be a lot simpler of a task than it has turned out to be. We have managed to fill up the entire week with quite a few meetings for everyone.

Negotiating 1.9 million+ square feet is pretty insane when you think about it, but it is nothing compared to when you first step onto the show floor. The first task at hand was navigating the 75 to 100 daily emails for meeting requests. Filtering out what is most relevant to AndroidSPIN and our readers, and what is just too cool to miss regardless. Then there is the limit of time. Crossing from North Hall to South Hall isn’t just a 5 minute walk. Booking our meetings based on their location was imperative. Keeping walking time to a minimum so that there would be more time to talk, video, photograph and learn about anything we are looking at. The good news though is that the first few weeks of December is when you get bombarded with requests and then they slowly taper off around Christmas until opening day.

There are only so many hours in a day and only so much a small crew can see. We have about 70 meetings scheduled over 6 days on the floor. We will see plenty more though. Having been multiple times myself, I know we will have shorter meetings than expected and less time moving to the next than planned. That is where the next phase of planning come in. I call it “The List”.

The list is an organized list of companies and their booth numbers organized by their locations and in numerical order. Many are ones that requested we come meet them and don’t have the time to schedule a formal meeting, others are companies I know we should visit or have visited in the past. Currently our list has another 50 booths to attempt to make it to also. Mathematically, if we make all the meetings and hit all the booths on the list and nothing else, we will have visited roughly 120 various companies. I have no doubt in my mind that we won’t probably hit the 200+ number though. Especially considering events like CES Unveiled, Showstoppers and Pepcom Digital Experience housing multiple companies at small tables.

None of what I have mentioned above is a secret. Anyone can visit cesweb.org and take a look around.  See a list of companies, find their locations on the various how floors and check out a photo gallery of last years show.

We are definitely excited to make the trip this year and have a number of plans to bring more to you guys then we have been able to in the past. Next week I think I might clue you into the packing stage of the prep work. If anyone is interested I mean.

I am sure there are a number of my fellow bloggers and news sources out there that will be in attendance as well. How is your planning and booking phase going? Are you overwhelmed, overbooked and ready to go?

About the Author

Stormy Beach
I am the proud father of three, 3, 9, and 12. I recently upgraded from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the Sony Xperia Z. Having so many kids warranted a change of pace. Let me tell you, it is mind blowing. I love Android, I love tech and I love my family. Not in that order though. I work hard, play even harder and take care of all that are around me when I can.

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