Whether you run a company or a recognised consumer brand, there are plenty of benefits to appearing at CES.
Entrepreneur is on the floor at this year’s GADGETS Show. Check back for highlights from the function and also insights from thought leaders and innovators.
THE BUYER Electronics Show (CES) will celebrate its 50th anniversary from Jan. 5 to 8 in NEVADA. Touted as the global stage for innovation, CES is widely considered the main trade show for consumer tech brands and innovative startups.
Whether you run a company or a recognised consumer brand, there are numerous benefits to appearing at CES. However, the expenses of attending CES could be problematic for many companies to justify. So, does appearing at CES actually pay back?
Exhibiting at any trade show takes an investment of time, labor, money, opportunity or any other number of resources. CES is no different. The precise cost of appearing at CES will change for every company, with many spending tens to thousands of dollars for the function. No matter your company’s size, it’s evident that exhibiting at CES doesn’t come cheap.
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1. Successful exhibits devote some time.
It requires lots of time to get ready for CES. This may include time spent getting the product or prototype ready, training your employees, practicing your pitch, marketing your booth location or creating a post-show sales strategy. The most successful companies spend lots of time finding your way through CES.
With every hour you may spend preparing, you sacrifice time that may be going toward customer support, to generate leads or other critical regions of your business. This opportunity cost is difficult to place a cost on, but it’s something you need to consider.
2. There are many booth options.
While putting a cost on time may be difficult, you can put a far more definitive cost on your own exhibit space. Traditional exhibit space ranges from $38 to $43 a square foot based on your membership status with the buyer Technology Association, the trade group that runs CES.
The typical booth size for a normal exhibitor is 10 by 10, which puts average booth space between $3,800 to $4,300. With an increase of than 2.4 million square feet of exhibiting space, many companies choose to rent a lot more than the minimum. For example, at CES 2012, Samsung spent a lot more than $850,000 on a 25,000 square-foot booth.
The minimum $3,800 for booth space may be too steep for a company, so CES has another option for companies that meet its requirements. For $1,000, startups can rent a turnkey booth at the Eureka Park Marketplace. This space is situated beyond your traditional exhibit area but does attract media, investors and attendees looking for another big thing.
CES has 600 startup companies set to seem at the Eureka Park Marketplace this January, a jump from the 500 in 2016. Appearing at the Eureka Park Marketplace is a good alternative for bootstrapped startups that are looking to obtain a taste for CES.
Whether you have a recognised brand or a startup, CES has several resources to assist you uncover the best options to your requirements.
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3. Expect secondary effects and expenses.
A lot more than 177,000 people attended CES in 2016. That number is likely to grow this season. With this influx of individuals visiting Las Vegas, you will see secondary effects and expenses. Hotel rates increase as fewer options become available, restaurants can be booked, meeting areas will be unavailable and travel can be difficult. It’s vital that you expect these unwanted effects while preparing for your visit to CES.
As an exhibitor, you’ll also incur expenses beyond the booth rental rates. You should expect a considerable cost for food, travel, lodging, employee time, booth setup and design, internet usage at CES, company swag and several other peripheral costs. These expenses will grow the bigger your booth is and the more employees you bring to the function. In 2007, Digeo brought 29 employees to the function and spent up to $1 million.
While it’s impossible to predict what effects or expenses you will incur beyond the booth rental, you should plan them.
Every company I talked to said that they might recommend appearing at CES, even if there weren’t always immediate returns. Here are some ideas to help exhibitors maximize their ROI at CES.
1. Network, network, network.
Networking with potential partners, clients, investors and media is probably the biggest benefits to appearing at CES. CES is fixed to trade-only professionals, meaning the function is closed to everyone. Only industry professionals and media personnel are permitted to attend.
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In 2016, CES reported 104,753 regular individuals, 65,095 exhibitor personnel and 7,545 media representatives attended the function. This amounts to a lot more than 177,000 potential networking opportunities.
Networking is a good way for brands to build up strategic partnerships, but networking may also provide startups a chance to find investors and capital raising. The Eureka Park Marketplace is a designated area at CES for startups to showcase their innovations. Since 2012, a lot more than 1,100 startups have used CES to showcase their products, generating a lot more than $1 billion in funding. CES 2017 could have an archive 600 exhibiting startups at the Eureka Park Marketplace.
Harris Kenny, from Aleph Objects, Inc., will attend his third consecutive CES this January. He said networking is among the biggest reasons his company attends CES. It offers the team a platform to “talk with and develop new sales channel partners, suppliers and vendor partners and customers.” He adds that CES lets his team connect to industry experts and in addition maintain relationships with existing partners.
There is absolutely no other consumer technology trade show which allows networking as of this large of a scale.
2. Have your product or prototype ready.
After talking with companies that exhibited at CES previously, a very important factor was clear: to increase ROI at CES you must have your product ready. Kilian Saekel, founder of A-Champs, appeared at CES for the very first time in 2016 and can appear this January again.
At its first CES, A-Champs was struggling to make best use of the show because its final product samples weren’t quite complete. Saekel said his team could actually generate a whole lot of buzz plus some leads, but if indeed they had final product samples, they might have seen a higher return from the function. Saekel said that A-Champs is a lot more prepared these times and will be in a position to capitalize on the areas it missed this past year.
Many companies use CES as a platform to launch new and innovative products or updated versions of older models. First impressions could make or break your product, so make certain you’ve taken enough time to get ready to sustain attention and contend with the a huge selection of others in your space.
3. Use your time and effort wisely.
Michael Golubev, founder of CAD.ai, exhibited at the Eureka Park Marketplace the prior 2 yrs and said this season he’ll be attending as an investor. His advice for companies appearing at CES is usually to be prepared, especially since it pertains to traveling and managing your time and effort. He recommended booking airfare well beforehand also to arrive a day or two early in order to avoid any travel delays and better acclimate you to ultimately the surroundings and atmosphere of the function.
As the event only lasts for a couple of days and there are a large number of companies competing for attention, it’s essential that you have clearly defined goals. Make an effort to create an itinerary prior to the event and map out the main people and events you intend to visit. Additionally, you can create media appointments prior to the event to greatly help avoid scheduling conflicts while at the show.
With the amount of people, many promotional events and excitement of NEVADA, CES could be overwhelming. Staying focused and motivated on your own objectives is crucial if you wish to see your biggest return.
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4. Work doesn’t stop after CES.
CES is a fantastic platform to build buzz for your product, however the work doesn’t end together with your flight home. Actually, the main steps you make will be following the event. While at CES, you should exchange business cards and take notes from conversations had while networking. When you go back home, it’s important to follow-up and use components of those conversations to greatly help connect the dots for the contact. Investors, potential partners and media contacts are meeting a huge selection of people at the function, so try to make your self stick out in your follow-ups.
Another way to increase the return is by using CES to greatly help market your brand. Maybe your company won or was nominated for an Innovation Award. Maybe your product got featured on Mashable, TechCrunch or the other a large number of media publications at the function. For example, A-Champs was featured in Mashable in 2016 and used a quote from this article to include credibility on its website.
CES will celebrate its 50th anniversary in January 2017. You will see a large number of innovative brands competing for home based business, investors, media attention and partnerships. If you’re in a position to make a splash at the world’s largest consumer innovation event, your investment could be