Make the most out of CES 2017 – tips from a 5 year expert

igg_ces2017_blogheader_700x287

If you like 3D printing, drones, wearables, robots or any kind of cool technology, you should be heading to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year in Las Vegas from January 5th to January 8th. CES is where the tech gurus of the world gather to swap insights and introduce their latest innovation into the marketplace. Indiegogo will be there in a big way with the Indiegogo Zone in Eureka Park, the flagship startup destination at CES. Stop by and say hi and take advantage of our business coaching, a chance to meet one on one with one of our partners!

They don’t call it ‘the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on technology’ for nothing. CES is huge, and it spreads across all of Las Vegas. In fact, CES 2016 was a record-breaking year. 177,393 attendees gathered from across the globe to experience technology innovation spanning 2.47 million net square feet of exhibit space. If that doesn’t make you geek out, I’m not sure what will.

During the day, the show takes place in a few main areas: Tech East (aka the Las Vegas Convention Center), Tech West (Sands Expo/ Eureka Park, The Venetian, the Palazzo, Wynn Las Vegas, and Encore at Wynn), and Tech South (Aria, Cosmopolitan, and Vdara hotels, host to C Space activities). Tech East, West and South primarily highlight larger companies looking to show off their latest innovations (we’re talking the GE’s and IBM’s of the world). The Marketplaces are unique exhibit areas that group new technology markets and feature up-and-coming products, services and companies. Where you venture to will really depend on what you are looking to see.

As I mentioned, CES is huge so come prepared. Use these tips I learned during my five years attending, and you’ll walk away wanting to come back year after year:

Don’t try to see everything:

  • Look over the exhibitor guides beforehand to identify who might be interesting or useful
  • Take some time to wander around and talk with the conference attendees. You never know who you’ll meet!

How to get around:

    • Map out a day in each venue so you can prioritize the most important places to see and stay organized.
    • Schedule your appointments in locations that are near each other. Give yourself time to get around, because cab lines are often long.
    • Arrive early for keynotes because the lines can be long.

What to bring and wear:

    • A tracking device, like a Misfit Shine, and comfortable shoes that you don’t mind wearing all day. With such a large show floor, you may log miles in a day.
    • Know that Vegas nights can get down to 34 degrees F in January, so you may need a jacket.
    • Extra charger (or two) because it can be difficult to find an outlet to charge your phone. If you’re really stuck, come try out the Omnicharge in the Indiegogo Zone.  (Bonus points if you bring a mobile hotspot, like Skyroam or Karma.) Reception can get tricky, so the more tools you have to be self-sufficient the better.
    • Lots of business cards. With over 150,000 attendees, you are going to meet a lot of awesome people.
    • Snacks, water, hand sanitizer, a good camera, ibuprofen, and vitamins.
    • If you collect a lot of swag, you can send it home via shipping services instead of carting it on the plane.
    • Print a map of the exhibit floor as well as your tickets, schedule, and RSVPs for events.

Be prepared to party:

    • CES at night is truly spectacular. Some of the best networking of the conference takes place after hours.
    • For a growing list of CES parties, you can check here, here and here. (Be sure to RSVP early because events typically sell out quickly.)  

Come to Eureka Park!

Eureka Park gives startup companies the opportunity to exhibit at CES. It’s a great place for startups to learn from each other and discover new resources. Everyone is passionate about their products and willing to talk about them. An added bonus is, Indiegogo will be there to help you Launch Large.

We will be introducing entrepreneurs to the best services, partners and support throughout your entire business lifecycle – right there on the CES floor! Sign up for business and product coaching to dive into your product plans with an expert, and make connections that last.

We hope to see you and your next big idea at CES – and don’t forget to say hi at the Indiegogo Zone in Eureka Park!