I am here in Vegas at CES for a few reasons:
- We launched some marketing for a couple clients who are here.
- I have dozens of meetings setup for BizDev.
- I’m covering the happenings in sports tech and sports marketing.
I get to experience CES from all sides. But at the end of the day whether you are here as an exhibitor, an agency, a vendor, a media outlet, a salesperson, or a products specialist – you’re all here for the same reason. Exposure.
You want your potential customers, partners, or readers to know about you, and you want to sell them on why they should pay attention.
There are brands and people here that are doing it the right way, but also a lot of people who could have just saved a lot of time and money by staying home. Because let's face it, bringing your company to CES is expensive, so if you are here you better get it right.
But how do you maximize exposure while at CES?
- Set up meetings ahead of time. I see too many people sitting around at a booth with nothing going on (big and small brands) waiting for someone to stop by. You should have your pipeline full before you even get here. My entire schedule was booked from the moment I landed until I fly back to NYC. If you have a break, you’re doing it wrong. If you haven’t set up meetings ahead of time, go do it now. Jump on LinkedIn, email, go walk the floor. Don’t wait for these people to find you, go hunt them down.
- Speak to the media. If you have a new innovative tech product, you better be speaking to the media. Do some PR. And if you don’t have a product, you can still talk to the media by giving commentary with your expertise about the industry. They always need sources — get yourself in front of the right people.
- Say what your company does in one clear sentence. If you walk around the floor you will see so many companies with vague slogans that sound cool but are truly meaningless. If you’re not PepsiCo or Nike then you probably should tell people what you do upfront. If your company makes hats that read your mind, don’t spend money on a sign that says “technology for you” – WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU DO? As uncool as it might be, you’re better off saying something like “Hats that read your mind”. Get it?
- Go to events. After the floor closes don’t go back to your hotel room, get out there, go to the Twitter party, get industry drinks at the Bellagio, just get out there and shake some more hands.
- Focus your efforts. Is your biggest push to get into retailers? Get a licensing deal? Sell direct to consumer? Kick off your Kickstarter? Pick your focus and stick to it. The time flies and this event is huge. You’re better off spending all of your energy on that one focus, making sure it happens than spreading your resources thin and not having an impact anywhere.
- Have a post-CES plan. Don’t just take your fistful of business cards and go back to your office in Wherever Town. Make sure you have a clear plan of action for after the show is over. How are you following up with your leads? Did you launch a product and is there a bigger story to tell? Make sure it aligns with your focus and get it done asap. The longer you wait to follow up, the less likely it will be to ever turn into a deal.
CES can be a massive opportunity for brands who do it right, and a massive expense to the rest of them. It’s really not all that complicated – sticking to the basics really works. Now get out there and go BizDev. See you back in New York.