CES 2006 was so big for Sling that it needs it’s own post. Team Sling began arriving over a week before the show to build the booth, which expanded from the 4-foot-wide table/pod in ’05 to a 20′ x 30′ massive area for ’06. To add a little spice to the event, both Rich and Tami had foot/knee problems during setup, which is precisely the time you really want to be flexible and mobile.
The demo was more than just a demo. We had an actor (Eldon(sp?)) who did a phenomenal job soaking in the Sling “vibe” and literally packed the area full of people every 30 minutes. At first our neighboring booths in the Sands were a little annoyed at our traffic pull, but once they realized they were able to benefit from the spillover, we were all BFFs.
CES 2006 was the first time we publicly demonstrated SlingPlayer Mobile and was the announcement of the PAL version of the Slingbox (more on that later). It was also the “now-that-we-can-look-back-with-20-20-hindsight-the-way-too-early” announcement of SlingPlayer Mac.
Personally it was a really fun show. The whole team from SlingCommunity was there, helping with demos and hanging out with us at the booth. A half-dozen original Slingbox beta testers showed up, which was a nice treat as I’d never met them in person. I also met Jeff Chiusano, the first (registered) Slingbox owner. Other Slingbox owners/fans were there, as well as tons of people new to the world of Slinging. I had a blast, even with the 18ish-hour days that were spent entirely standing and demoing (the same thing, over and over, for six days). I love CES.
I know a lot of people in the marketing field who hate the show (or all tradeshows). They hate talking to random people who walk up. They hate the grind. They hate the pace. I’m not one of them. I love it. I love the chance to talk to everybody I can, especially if its about a product I built. I love to get the “win” during a demo/pitch. For me that “win” is someone getting why the Slingbox is cool – I don’t as much care about the specific close/sale, I care more about that moment. Probably explains why I’m not in sales…