CES 2024: untold stories of the world’s largest tech show

CES photo collage banner

Now that’s a wrap for #ces2024. If you were following the event I’m sure you’ve already read how great it was and how excited everyone was to meet and greet each other. And that’s all true. CES is my favorite show of the year. There’s nothing like it and if you’re in the consumer tech, you have to attend it at least once in your life. 

Here’s what stood out to me at CES this year:

  1. Majority of the new brands outside of the US are looking to enter the US market with the help of the distributors. If only it was that easy.
    • Expectation: I sell off my product to the distributor, he will promote my brand, invest into marketing, hassle showcasing my product to the big-box retail buyers to get me in-store. That’s how I win the market.
    • Reality: The US distributors may agree to carry your inventory but they won’t purchase it from you, you will only see the pay check if your inventory has been sold. They may waive the storage fees if you are a good negotiator. The US distributor will not promote your brand and product, will not think of the new angles and viral marketing campaigns how to get the spotlight on your product line. The US distributor will not spend an extra 5 minutes learning about your product and how it’s different from the competition. Your brand is one of the many-many lines (30? 40? 50?) that their sales force is carrying and guess what? The sales force is focusing on those lines that do sell. If your product is complex, expensive and does not fall into the high-demand, low-competition type of category, you may want to explore other avenues for your go-to market strategy. #askmehow
  1. It’s incredible the amount of times I heard from the brands with the far-from-great booth location telling me they were booking the space too late (5-6 months in advance) and since they are exhibiting for the first time they didn’t get a chance to select the space where they want to be. Big shoutout to the CES organizers: this is just so unfair. It felt like CES was taking advantage of the newcomers. My client booked his space 3 months before the show, it took us a bit of back and forth pushing for a better spot and we couldn’t be happier with the location: right by the high-traffic aisle with the great visibility.

To all the newcomers out there, please do ask for a better spot. #askmehow

  1. CES organizers gotta do a better job promoting the PR opportunities around the show floor. I talked to hundreds of exhibitors during the show, and not all of them even knew about the Unveiled, the official PR event of the CES. Not to mention Pepcom, ShowStoppers and more.
  1. DO NOT use the #EmergencyExit  staircase even if it’s just one floor up or down. You get locked up. Big shout out to the #Harrahs security guard who got me out with a cheerful “you’re not the first one, mam”. Great 8am laugh.
Stuck at the emergency exit

Well, well, for all of us in the service industry this all only brings greater opportunities for the year ahead. Great show! Can’t wait for the next one!

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