International CES vs MacWorld/iWorld Consumer Tech Shows
Consumer Electronic Shows
The email has arrived announcing that the time is now to register for the 2013 International CES Show in Las Vegas, Nevada to be held from January 8-11, 2013. It has been a short seven months since the 2012 International CES Show ended but there is a very good reason to register early - the benefit is free admission. Wait to register until after August 31, 2012 and the price will be $100.
I have attended several International CES Shows but 2012 was the first time as a member of the media. The contrast between attending as an industry insider versus as a media insider was not drastic but I enjoyed the added benefit of conducting interviews and learning the behind the scenes stories. All I had to do was ask "how did you come up with this idea" and the stories came flooding out.
Comaparison - International CES and MacWorld/iWorld
International CES, Las Vegas, Nevada
· The International CES Show is held in the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as surrounding hotels. Some tech companies rent penthouse suites for a more intimate showing of their products. It is a very large consumer electronics show and draws exhibitors and attendees from all over the world
· Many of the products are brought to market via huge technology companies such as Sony, Samsung, Motorola and Cannon to name a few
· My favorite areas however, are those dedicated to individual entrepreneurs and the ones depending on funding sources such as KickStarter.com to bring their products to market
· All attendees must prove their affiliation to the technology industry
· Products are seldom sold at the show - in fact their availability may be two, three or more months after the show
· Entry is free if registered before a specific date (August 31, 2012) - excluding Keynotes and break-out sessions
· Travel between the airport, hotels and Convention Center is typically available at very inexpensive or free rates. Many of the hotels offer shuttles - otherwise you may choose a taxi or the monorail
Opportunities Where You Find Them
We all have dreams but these entrepreneurs have gone the extra mile and persevered through mortgaging their homes, working at night after working all day and asking for funding wherever the opportunity arises. They have enlisted family and friends to assemble, advertise and even work in the exhibit booth to get their dream presented to the decision makers that can make or break them.
It takes guts to compete with all of the others with similar ideas in an arena of professional buyers and distributors. The questions are endless and saying the right thing at the right time is imperative. Believing in the product is easy - explaining why someone else should is much more difficult. Have you ever tried the exercise of describing your business or product in less than a minute? If I was to offer my advice it would be - get it right. You only have one chance at a first impression.
There is Always a Story
As a member of the media I try to find an interesting product in order to tell an interesting story of how it came to be. While working the 2012 International CES I was shown unbelievable respect and trust by these amazingly patient people needing to have their stories told. I was offered so many product samples to review that I am still working through them. I try for the hands on approach - to be as honest as possible. I also care about the customers that buy these products trusting that the hype is kept to a minimum.
I applied for press credentials to the 2012 MacWorld/iWorld Show in San Diego, California that was held a few weeks after the 2012 International CES show in Las Vegas, Nevada. I anxiously awaited for acceptance and after a few weeks my application was approved and shortly after that I found myself at the show for the first time.
The 2013 MacWorld/iWorld will be held from January 31 through February 2nd, 2013 at the Moscone Center.
Although these shows are quite different, I really enjoyed myself and made many wonderful contacts at both.
MacWorld/iWorld, San Francisco, California
· MacWorld/iWorld not only covers less square feet - the attendees are typically Mac fans
· Large companies such as HP and others will be seen but many of the exhibitors are individual entrepreneurs - they dream up the ideas, they design the prototypes, they raise the money needed often via funding sources such as KickStarter.com and they man the booths with hopes that you will stop by and buy their gadgets
· Entry fees are charged for some events, not for others - they vary widely depending on the events attended and the date of registration
· Attendees are typically on their own to travel between the airport, their hotel and the Convention Center. The Bart is available to board at the SFO airport and has stops all along the way to the Moscone Convention Center - You can even purchase a Bart Pass online
Plan Your Work - Work Your Plan
Advanced planning is necessary to make the best use of your time at the shows. Especially at The International CES Show. Study the list of exhibitors and where their booths are located. Check out the CES website for all of the information you could hope for.
As mentioned before the show is very large and is spread throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center and surrounding hotels. It is disappointing to realize that you missed visiting a booth and you may have been a single isle away.
Mentioning all of my favorite tech gadgets would be impossible but there are some that really stood out to me from these tech shows. I have purchased several products throughout the past several months - with and without show discounts.
Wormhole by J5
J5 "Wormhole" at 2012 MacWorld/iWorld
CES - BodyMedia Fit Arm Band for Weight Loss
Zagg at 2012 International CES
bodymedia Fit Armband for Weightloss
Some items make it easier to share files between my laptops such as the "Wormhole" from J5. Zagg products protect my iPad and iPhone from damage. Colorful clothes from Toddy Gear clean fingerprints from my Touchscreen devices. The BodyMedia "Link" armband has motivated me to lose more than 50 pounds. Tiny speakers help to enhance sound coming from my iPad. I could go on and on but I think you get what I am saying.
I will be back to tell you more but for now I have to go finish my online registration!
Zagg for iPads
Have you attended a Consumer Electronics Show?
The International CES is held here