The biggest lament for many of us when it comes to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the timing. Not only does it start the first week back from the holiday break but the lead up to the show is all of December, when getting anyone’s attention is challenging to say the least.
Alas it is what it is and the only thing you can do is work it. So here are five considerations for getting in front of the media:
1. When and where to engage your key media: Like many things in life it’s good to have options. CES is a beast and one that is impossible to tame in three or four days. It’s best to make yourself available to media in different ways, be it on the show floor, a private suite, third-party media events like Digital Experience and Showstoppers or hospitality-based events like receptions or dinners. If you rely on just one, it’s not very likely that many of your contacts will be available.
2. Don’t push it: CES is a great place to connect with your key media and influencers, but it’s not the only place. Media are pushed and pulled in many directions at the show and getting to a meeting or demo can be a huge task. So if they can’t see your clients or have to bail on a demo, get them later. They can’t be all things to all people at CES.
3. Consider pre-CES briefings: For a number of years now we’ve worked with Belkin/Linksys to brief media in December under embargo. And it works great. The media love it because it enables them to create content before they even pack their bags and gives them more time at CES to cover other areas. Typically the embargo lifts the day the show starts and the coverage is had.
4. Go for substance: Don’t get hung up on exposure coming directly from the show. While lots of coverage comes out of CES it’s too often dominated by flash in the pan items (does anyone remember the smart fork? Yeah, I didn’t think so). Our primary goal at CES is to build relationships and get the media in front of the contacts that will build long term rapport. Make sure you have something meaningful to cover and be someone the media can count on. That will get you the right exposure all year long.
5. It ain’t over till it’s over: Getting a contact interested at CES is just step one. Once you get back there’s still a lot to be done. Closing stories generated at CES can take weeks and months, so be prepared for lots of follow-up and prompt delivery of details that weren’t yet finalized for products or services as well as timely review units.
Other than that CES is a piece of cake.