A Survival Guide to CES for the First-Time Attendee

  • POV’s
  • January 7, 2020
  • Theodore King
Brought to You by a First-Time Attendee

The biggest thing I learned this week is that when you tell someone it is your first time visiting Las Vegas, their eyes light up. When you tell them it is your first time attending CES, they wrinkle their nose. When you tell them both factoids in the same conversation, their face moves a lot. I also learned it is the perfect representation of how CES is always two things at once – overwhelming and inspiring, social and educational or even traditional and innovative.

The second biggest lesson is the importance of packing an open mind. You’ll also need comfortable shoes, a few nice outfits and a portable phone charger, but those are all tier two necessities. CES is all about the experience and what you take away from it. Like CES as a whole, most showcased technology is trying to be two things at once…with varying success. An open mind makes the difference between being the person who can discuss the insights you learned about what went into a self-rocking baby cradle to improve an infant’s sleep pattern versus being the person who simply jokes about robots taking over. An open mind also helps you focus on the important. While not every AI-capable dress shirt may seem unique, learning about different products helps you notice the common trends that will impact the larger industry.

CES is also not a solo-experience. Connecting with fellow attendees either on the floor, at evening events or at the various shared spaces is a must. Discussing how learnings and trends can be realistically utilized grounds the potentially overwhelming CES experience in an actionable learning opportunity.

As with nearly every first-time experience, you’ll have your regrets and plans for next time. The important thing is to remember that, like Disney World, you could spend your whole life at CES and still not see everything, so be sure to take in what you can and plan how to build on it for next year.