5 ways startups can leverage CES without breaking the bank.

When November rolls around, rather than thinking about the holidays…We start thinking about CES. Every year there are new factors to think about and ways to leverage the excitement around the event. As a startup, the question we typically get asked is, is it worth it to go?

Well if you’re a startup with a new product/product news or need to offset your competitors there are key ways to showcase yourself at CES without breaking the bank.

  1. Check out Eureka Park – Ok folks, its November. The likelihood of availability in Eureka Park is slim, but the growth of the show has shown that there are some areas that are popping up around CES that are more economical. Make sure before you commit to any space at CES, you check out the location. You do not want to be in the basement next to a company that is just a reseller or manufacturer. Do not invest in a booth space unless you are near like-minded companies, partner companies and/or a location hotspot. You want to make sure its easy for press/potential investors/clients/prospects to get to you without getting lost.
  2. Co-exhibit with a complimentary company/customer/partner – Maybe you don’t have to take on a full investment of CES. Do you have amazing partners/clients/investors that have a relation with your product? Work with them to see if there’s is a space that you can piggy back off of. Its likely that they will be happy to share the cost and this will also trim the cost of exhibiting for you, as long as you have an understanding on how the space will be used and/or separated.
  3. Get a hotel suite– This age old tactic of grabbing a popular hotel suite is a great way to showcase your product AND avoid the loudness of the show floor, especially if you have a product that requires that you create an experience or happens to be in Audio. For this, securing media early is very important and making sure you get a suite a hotel that may already have events happening and is near other action is key. Nobody wants to go out of their way in Vegas during CES to go to a hotel that is remote, off strip or not included in some of the CES events. Our tip; try to get something at Mirage, Venetian, Sands, Wynn, Courtyard LVCC, SpringHill Suites LVCC.
  4. Showcase your product at Showstoppers or Pepcom – Now an industry staple for media events at every CES, Pepcom and Showstoppers gives you a great bang for your buck all in one glorious media filled night. Note that these are media only events. Make sure you have something exciting to say here or you will be passed up. You may even use one of these events to set up meetings outside of the event (you know when the media isn’t focused on eating and drinking).
  5. Setup On-site meetings – Last but not least, if your budget is non-existent than the answer may be to hire a PR freelancer/agency to secure on-site meetings for you. This works best for products that are able to be demo’d in a mobile way or dropped off. You’ll want to find someone that already has access to the CES press list so that you can make the most of your trip. Secure a meeting place in advance, set up and get those meetings under way. You can’t ever score if you don’t show up to the game.

There are several other considerations for a tradeshow of this size. The worth it factor will come from metrics that you determined before even pursuing the event. Top reasons for startups to attend CES is to: join your competitors at the “big table”, leverage a mass of media in a time when they are incredibly receptive, making deals at the largest consumer tech tradeshow.

There is always a way to make it worth your while, if you need help figuring out how to measure that ROI, we are always here! Good luck at this year’s CES 2017 and stand by for other critical tradeshow tips. Contact us for any questions, consult or to inquire about how to maximize your presence at CES.

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