Preparing for CES 2021

CES 2021

By Robin Carr, senior counselor

Yes, we know CES (with more than 4,000 exhibitors and nearly 200,000 people) in Las Vegas recently ended and some of you are still recovering.  But it’s never too soon to start planning for CES 2021.

Seriously. Never too soon.

Here’s an easy four-point planning guide:

Begin your 6-month, 3-month, 0-2 months outline

Check with the folks at CES and get deadlines for scoring a booth location, submitting speaking proposals, and identifying special events (important dinners, relevant meetings, and yes… parties).

Determine what your company/client’s news and objectives are and what new products will be announced. What technology will they show at CES 2020?  Remember the obvious:  media is looking for news.  The more unique and “first of its kind,” the better.

Now that you have the news, you need to develop pitching plans, press kit, visual assets, etc.   This is also a crucial time to secure your “embargo” media list—trusted press folks who will honor your press release to drop on the day when you wire the news out.

New product demos are always good booth catnip. And pitch the media several months in advance (October is optimal, and before the holidays for sure).  The CES media list is usually available to download for those registered to attend.

Plan your flights and get your hotel squared away several months out as well.

Investigate which press-only event to participate in

There are three: CES Unveiled, Pepcom Digital Experience, and Show Stoppers. Check with your PR network and crowd-source on social networks to find out which event is best for your company.  Unveiled is held two days prior to CES, Pepcom is the night before (my personal favorite—great timing) and Show Stoppers is on the first night of CES.  They all have plenty of A-list press folks who attend.

These events are so popular with press that many companies who are solely interested in media coverage are choosing to attend one of these events– and that’s it!  No CES booth needed.  Reporters are there to meet and greet, ask questions and try out products while learning about your company.

Utilize social media before, during and after CES

Be sure to get the buzz started a couple of months prior to CES, with teasers and hashtags to garner interest.

During the show, use social channels to provide compelling and interesting content on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, including Stories and “live” opportunities.  Create buzz about your brand to encourage visitors to your booth.  Engage with CES attendees, media, and tag booth visitors who are also active on social media.

For non-CES attendees, you can provide information and encourage engagement with your brand advocates and followers.  Make them feel as if they’re visiting the booth—virtually!  Live streaming any press conferences you have is a great option.

After the show, post media coverage and tag the reporter with a nice shout out.

Post-show follow-up

It’s imperative to follow-up with reporters who visited the booth, as well as those who weren’t able stop by with relevant content and images.  Be sure to debrief with your client about what worked for them at CES and lessons learned.

And before you know it, it’s CES time again.  You’ll be booking those flights and hotels and packing comfortable shoes and hand-sanitizer.

Of course, if you really want to maximize your PR success, work with an agency who has been there and done that, with staffers who have years of CES and trade show experience. Landis Communications can help. Let’s chat soon so we can talk through your plan!

Have you been to CES? What’s your best piece of advice? Let us know in the comments box below.

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5 Comments

  1. David Landis Reply

    Robin, you are so right. It’s never too soon to start planning for CES. Great job with Velodyne at CES this year! Cheers, David

  2. Brianne Miller Reply

    CES – love it or hate it, it’s one-stop-media-shopping.

  3. Sean Dowdall Reply

    My best advice – do lots of yoga before, during and after CES!

  4. Craig MacLellan Reply

    And don’t forget a hot pot for your room!

  5. Robin Carr Reply

    One tip I forgot to mention: bring a hotpot! The time you save making your own hot tea or coffee in your room will save you hours of waiting for room service (or coffee lines).