My first CES was in 1999, with Mediabolic (a software platform for consumer electronics devices). Unfortunately due to age and data loss, I have no real nor digital memories of that particular trip, other than “learning experience.”
For the next few years CES trips were all about networking, demos, meetings, demos, walking the show, demos, events, demos, press briefings, demos, and, of course, the occasional demo. The two key highlights of these years, in no particular order:
Good times. The next two years at the show were for Sling Media, where I spent the shows demoing, networking, demoing, doing press events, demoing, in meetings, and, of course, demoing. I again won a Best of CES award at the show (in 2005, demoing at a booth the size of my desk, in a tent in the LVCC parking lot, during the rain), and I was in full love with the annual event. I even put together my first batch of “Tips for CES” posts.
From 2007-2011, my attendance of the show shifted, from being at a company (doing demos), to running booths and media events for multiple companies, all clients of Stage Two (the product and marketing consultancy I ran with Adam Burg for 4 years). Instead of doing insane amounts of demos, I helped orchestrate numerous other products and launches at the show. Our presence included: Bug Labs (won another Best of CES award!), Boxee, Splashtop, TuneUp Media, PogoPlug, Magisto, Sphero (pre-BB8!), and others. The experience was quite different, still very cool. More CES survival tips. Some highlight moments:
From 2012-2014, my role at CES shifted yet again, this time as CEO of Dijit Media. Over these years I spent a collective 15 or so minutes actually on the show floor, the rest of the time in meetings. 7am to 7pm, then social events with partners, vendors, customers, etc. A very different kind of exhausting, but still loving the CES!
And now as the year kicks off, I prep to fly into Las Vegas and descend upon the madness of #CES2016. Only this time I’m doing it with CNET, the largest tech media company at the show! In fact, this year I’ve worked with my stellar team to get our dedicated CES section into great shape. While I know it’s going to be crazy busy, it’s also oddly calming to have most of my CES work already “in the can” (as they say “in the biz”).
I have no idea what this experience will be like, but I’m extremely honored and excited to be a part of it!