How to Survive CES and Other Large Trade Shows

By Anna Livaccari / 5 minutes

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CES is almost around the corner and the event is ALWAYS filled with thousands of exhibitors, journalists, tech fanatics, media and tech executives and more. They will descend upon the Las Vegas strip to learn and sample the latest and greatest technologies, drink and gamble, and see firsthand how Uber surge rates work. The show is definitely overwhelming but at the same time one of the highlights of the year when it comes to technology. We’ve put together a few tips in our CES Survival Guide we think will be handy for anyone attending the event for the first time or show veterans who are looking for some new tips.

Tip #1: Travel Light – Don’t bring extra baggage to this event 

Typically big trade shows like CES have a lot of security, don’t let this trip you up. Pack light and bring only what you need to survive when hitting the floor. Rolling bags are not permitted on the floor and each guest can only carry up to two bags. Make sure you have what you need, but leave some extra room for that swag!

Tip #2: Bring USB Battery Packs – Don’t be caught with a dead phone

Don’t be one of those attendees you normally see at trade shows looking for that outlet that’s hidden under miles of poorly laid carpet. When you’re coming to CES you need to be prepared that if there are any extra outlets they will already be taken. Make sure to pack fully charged USB battery packs so you can enjoy the show, take great pictures, email clients and communicate with your coworkers on the floor.

 Tip #3: Give yourself Extra Time – Get a map

You need to understand that this event is in Vegas! That means that wherever you are staying, the path to the event convention centers might not be so easy. Whether it is weaving your way through the Venetian’s slot machines or walking through the Mirage hotel’s insanely huge lobby,  you will need to give yourself extra time. If you’re one of those unlucky people who did not book a hotel in advance…make sure to take even more time when using shuttle buses or taxis, because there will be traffic and the floor waits for no one.

Tip #4: Pack Comfy Shoes – Take care of your feet

CES is spread over two convention centers and countless hotels along the Las Vegas strip. Most shows hours extend far beyond the show floor times…so you’ll need footwear that is comfortable because your feet will need to last the entire event.

Tip #5: Hydrate, Hydrate & Hydrate – Remember You’ll be in Vegas

This may be obvious but Vegas is an unforgiving desert and she will punish you for not taking the time to hydrate. Not only will you be attending an amazingly long and tiresome show, you will also need to make sure you are able to juggle multiple clients, track down leads, handle booth conversations and then network at late night events. Don’t get sick or tired – stay hydrated, remember you are in Vegas now!

Tip #6: Rest Up – Don’t let those late nights win 

Yes, I know the event is held in Las Vegas, a city which is basically the antonym of a good night’s sleep. However, keep in mind that you’re here to work, and you’ve got some long days ahead of you. Set a decent bedtime, stay hydrated and fed, and do everything in your power to avoid the roulette game next to the elevator.

Tip #7: Go to the Afterparty – Get the most out of CES 

The floor is filled with amazing technology and sights to see but you need to network as well. The trick is to never say no to an invite. There will be so many different parties and you need to choose wisely. Overcommit and get on as many lists as possible, it will be easier to make your decision toward the end of each day. Take time to pick the best party that will help you get the most out of your trip to Vegas.

Tip #8: Don’t Forget to Take Pictures – Make sure you learn something 

CES is a great event and showcases new and amazing technology each year. While you might be attending the event for many different reasons, don’t forget to take time to smell the roses and take some pictures. Make sure you come away from the event with some new learnings to tell your boss along with some great swag to share at the office.

Your CES Survival Guide

Download our CES Survival Guide for on-the-go tips or take a look the below for a quick read while on the plane!

Find more industry news and event information on our blog.

About the Author

Anna Livaccari, Growth Marketing Manager

Anna is a Boston College grad, loves being outdoors, and is a huge foodie.