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CES is Right Around the Corner – If You’re Not Planning, You’re Falling Behind

By Katie Vroom | On July 7, 2017

Ask any PR professional when they need to start preparing for a major industry conference and they’ll tell you AT LEAST six month out. We are now exactly six months away from one of the largest tradeshows in the country – the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and anyone working in the tech PR space should at least be in the beginning stages of generating a PR plan to capture all the value the show has to offer.

Between the huge crowds, countless client meetings, product launches, media briefings and more, there is a seemingly endless list of tasks that PR teams must juggle on the show floor. If you try to tackle it all in the weeks leading up to the show, you will no doubt be overwhelmed – planning ahead is key.

With almost 200,000 attendees and more than 4,000 vendors exhibiting, making a splash on site can be a daunting task for any company trying to break through the noise and they rely on their PR team to help them be successful. You still have time until pitching needs to start, but as you’re helping your clients think about their presence at the show, there are a few things that you should consider in the coming weeks and months to ensure a smooth road to CES for your PR team as well.

  1. Where to start: The first thing you need to do is register to take advantage of early bird rates and book your hotel and flight as soon as possible. Rooms will book up and flights will get more expensive so lock in your accommodations sooner than later – your client will thank you.
  2. Get in front of media early: Don’t wait until the week before the show to try and set up an on-site meeting with reporters and expect to get your announcement or product covered. Reporters work on an incredibly tight schedule at the show so help them out by offering an advanced look at your news starting in December. That will also free you up at the show to track down the more elusive members of the press, while allowing reporters briefed under embargo, to cue up their stories well in advance.
  3. Take advantage of broadcast opportunities: In recent years more media have started to show up at CES with camera crews ready to do on-the-spot interviews. We’ve seen CNET, TechCrunch, WSJ, Engadget and other premium tech outlets at the show so reach out to reporters ahead of time to see what their video plans are and if there is room to get your executive in for an interview or introduce them to a new product.
  4. Let CES help you: The Consumer Technology Association (CEA) will be a valuable resource in your media planning months. CEA offers a variety of opportunities to help you make a splash and get in front of the 7,000 members of the press in attendance. Check the links below for more info on each opportunity and the official submission dates (note: some are already available to book).
    • Media Days / News Conference: Make your major product or company news announcement exclusively to registered CES media and industry analysts with a Media Day news conference before the show floor opens.
    • Media Outreach Opportunities: List your company’s PR contact information with the CES directory, which is shared with CES media. Also sign up to receive a targeted media list that is updated daily and can be filtered by category.
    • Video Opportunities: Submit a pitch video to show the media what you’re bringing to the show floor and why they should visit your booth. The video will be posted to CES website and YouTube. Or be part of the CESTV videos that highlight hot products and new technologies on the show floor – last year these videos received more than 4.6 million views.
    • CES Media Tours: CES offers year-round opportunities including media tours to help promote the excitement and buzz around the show.

Katie Vroom

Katie is a Senior Account Director at Affect with over 10 years of public relations experience. Her expertise includes the oversight and execution of strategic PR efforts for clients across a variety of industries including security, healthcare, financial services / fintech, transportation & logistics, IT and more. Katie is a media relations enthusiast who loves finding new ways to introduce her clients to relevant reporters and publications, increasing their share of voice and developing mutually beneficial relationships with reporters. As a Senior Account Director, she is responsible for setting PR strategy to help clients meet their business objectives and providing strategic counsel to ensure PR initiatives deliver consistent ROI. Prior to joining Affect, she worked at Brainerd Communicators in NYC, where she led PR activities for a professional services firm spanning multiple industries.