Post CES Thoughts…

So my newbie experience at CES is now over and I even resisted temptation to play Sheryl Crow’s “Leaving Las Vegas” as my flight lifted off the run way. That was more of a result of being too exhausted to scroll through my iPod than anything else. How sad is that?

First thing I did when I got to the office today was send a note off to my good buddy and an editor at a trade publication. We had been corresponding during the show, mainly setting up plans for next week, but he also tolerated my complaints about my throbbing feet while sympathizing with me. Every gal needs a friend like that. 🙂

I received his response almost immediately. After welcoming me back, he asked a question that has absolutely stunned me.

“What was the coolest thing you saw at CES?”

After pondering it for a few minutes all I could come up with was:

“Honestly, I don’t REMEMBER anything I saw. I was too busy running around for clients. The only thing that got my attention were the custom paint jobs on the cars for in-car tech room.”

Yes, you read right. I attended the largest CE tradeshow where companies of all sizes come to boast about the “greatest x” and the “slimmest y” and the thing that will “revolutionize the way we z” and all I remembered was custom paint jobs on cars. That is pretty sad.

CES was somewhat of a whirlwind for me. It was my first time at the show, but also my first time in Vegas. I was so concentrated on being at my clients’ booths at such and such time that I found myself racing through exhibit halls, mainly due to being completely lost, dodging people and praying not to be late.

Also I contracted a serious case of what I’ll call “trade show neck.” See, everyone at these events wear badges with their name and company affiliation. Taking it one step further, the badges are color coordinated to match industry categories (i.e., press wore red, exhibitors wore orange, buyers wore black and so on)… So “trade show neck” is the act of straining to the point of discomfort in order to READ another person’s badge either from a distance or even during a personal introduction. I can’t tell you how many people I met over the course of the week and don’t recall not one of their names because I was too busy reading their badge! I realize badges are nice for identification purposes, but they should do a study on how they negatively impact personal relationship building at events.

Giving myself another few hours to digest Matt’s original question, here are some other highlights:

Saw more HD tvs than I’ll ever need to see

All the majors (Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Microsoft, etc.) had massive booths (to be expected), but aside from their size, they didn’t impress me.

Gibson tent was killer, some really cool guitars for demo — only wish I got to see Rocco DeLuca perform.

Attended AMG/Macrovision event (full disclosure, they’re my client) at the MGM Grand/Sky loft suites. Typically reserved for high rollers, experienced the most amazing view of Vegas I could ask for.

Ran into DJ Skribble — he was at the show some audio/auto company.

Saw Danica Patrick at the GoDaddy.com booth – she was hugging some scantily clad chick also signing autographs.
Saw Mad Mike from “Pimp My Ride” resisted all temptation to go up and say “you’ve been PIMPED” while flicking his shirt collar.

Photographed a massive Gwen Stefani at the HP booth for my friend Mike.

Shared a cab with the most jaded industry guy EVER who vented about all things CES related, particularly companies who lured him into meetings with the promise of something grand only to be time wasted. (withholding name/company out of niceness of my heart.)

Received a funny text from Eddie: “Where the f have you been? & have you ever heard of Tumblr.com”

On redeye home, sat next to a youngish businessman, with an English accent, who laughed (silently) the entire way home while watching “Run’s House” repeats.

Won $100 bucks playing BlackJack on my last day there. Finally couldn’t resist the temptation and you can’t beat a $5 minimum table. Proud of myself for not only winning, but walking away up and hanging on to the cash.

Overall, CES was definitely an experience and I got to see (some) of Vegas. You can check out more pics here.

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