The changing of the calendar year marks the beginning of new technologies. Like the rising and falling sun, CES steadfastly holds the first full week in January for announcements and debuts of tech gear, gadgets, and controlled chaos. In a flurry of excitement, tech leaders from around the globe are descending on Las Vegas, which plays host to the giant 150,000+ attendees exhibition.
Leading to the large turn out, 3,200+ exhibitors crowd every single square inch of the Las Vegas Convention center, where I will survive the next week in a tech related stupor. The convention is a pilgrimage, the life long requirement of anyone who considers themselves versed in the tech world. As a second-year attendee, I have a better understanding of the week’s events and hope to gather new insight for the upcoming year…
A glimpse inside the trip
Before I started writing for iDB, I often dreamed of attending the show. Each year in January, I would sit myself in front of the computer, scouring the internet for the latest news from CES. What would be announced? Who was going to break the next big thing? What is it like to be there?
Now, thanks to my position with the site, I am able to attend as an official member of the press. It really is a dream actualized. On my second time through the ringer, I feel a little more ready, if you can ever be ready, for the largest convention held in the world. With more than 150,000 people expected to attend and millions of square footage to cover, the goal is to immerse oneself in techdom from Sunday through Friday.
Last year, I scheduled just about every hour of my time. The schedule became extremely tedious to manage throughout the week and I feel like I missed some of the more interesting aspects of the show. This year, I have taken a different approach. With no more than one handful of meetings, I plan to use the free time to fully explore other companies, with which I have no current knowledge. To give the readers a chance to view what exactly I have planned, take a look below for the schedule of activities.
Unfortunately, I will be waking at 4:00AM EST to catch a 5:30AM flight to LAS. Arriving before lunch will give me time to settle in before attending the State of the Consumer Tech Industry and 2014 CES Trends to Watch press event. The presentation is offered by CEA analysts to help attendees understand the consumer dynamics behind the technology displayed at the show. Ending the day is CES Unveiled Las Vegas, the official media event with more than 1,200 press members. It is the best way to get a peak at more than 70 exhibitors who will be on the floor starting Tuesday.
January 6th is the official 2014 CES Press Day. Only open to registered media and industry analysts, the events will showcase exhibitor press conferences with major products and news. Last year I was able to score a spot in the Samsung presser to see them reveal the completely new line of 4K Ultra HDTV’s. This year, I plan to attend the Samsung presser again, along with several other major events throughout the day.
Monday night will end with a trip to Pepcom’s Digital Experience. The event, which is not officially part of CES, hosts a private party for connected media members to get another up close look at exhibitors who will be attending the full show on Tuesday. Often, entertainment is provided, a few drinks from the ice bar, and all the tech one could handle in about a three-hour block of time. More than 200 companies will be represented this year at the Mirage Events Center
Thankfully, there will be a little bit of sleeping time after the Pepcom party the night prior. The show officially opens on Tuesday morning at 10:00AM and runs through 6:00PM. This is the event everyone is waiting to attend. The show floor covers not only the Las Vegas Convention Center, but also the Venetian and Hilton convention locations. As the largest worldwide event of its kind, it is no surprise there are several locations to view items.
The event is massive enough for CES to employ a fleet of transportation services throughout the city. All of the official CES hotels will have transportation methods for attendees, as there is essentially no parking at the convention center. I found it fun to ride the bus to work in the morning, along with all of the other fellow attendees.
During the show on Tuesday, I have standing meetings with Moshi, Audiofly, and Phiaton. Moshi is a full Apple accessory retailer, which I covered on the site. Audiofly and Phiaton are both headphone companies, both of which were also previously reviewed. I always try to keep these relationships because they turn into great giveaways for the readers.
After the show, I will be attending, ShowStoppers for the first time. Like Pepcom, ShowStoppers is another closed media event, with a chance to meet companies without the clutter and noise of the full show floor. ShowStoppers is a press member dream with options for scheduled interviews, hands-on product demonstrations, and a cold glass.
The show floor begins the early open schedule with a door call at 9:00AM and close at 6:00PM. Wednesday, there is only one scheduled meeting for me, at this point, with Incipio. The rest of the day will be spent hanging around the iLounge Pavilion, which hosts only Apple accessories.
Starting the day on Thursday will begin with a private ride from the hotel to Seagate’s private show floor. It is an honor to work with both Seagate and LaCie as a product reviewer for iDB. This past year, I reviewed both the Seagate Wireless Plus and Seagate Central, which I was able to preview at this same opportunity in January 2013. The companies know how to do things right, with a pick up from a personal location and a continental breakfast for visitors. Once I view their 2014 lineup, it will be back to the show floor at the convention center.
As an iDB reader, it will be easy to stay informed with up to the minute news. Both Cody and Christian will do a great job of releasing information as it is available on the site. Keep an eye on our dedicated CES 2014 section for the updated posts. Another way to preview my expectations of the show is to listen to this week’s Let’s Talk iOS podcast, where I talk with Jeff and Cody about CES 2014. Finally, I will be tweeting all week from the show with pictures and some video clips. Tweets from the show floor and the private events are to be expected. Catch up with me and say hello via Twitter @jim_gresham.
What are you excited about next week at CES 2014?