7 Tips for Standing Out at CES 2018

Most of us think of this time of year as the season for planning Thanksgiving menus and bemoaning the ever earlier arrival of Holiday music in retail stores and shopping malls around the country. But for anyone working in technology, their eyes are already on the second week of January: we’re deep into planning season for CES, the biggest tech event of the year. And it’s not just tech companies. With tech as the new horizontal, brands in adjacent industries like automotive, healthcare, even sports are figuring out their game plan to break through. Here are seven tips that companies of any size can adopt, based on many years helping clients stand out at a very crowded venue:

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1.Once you touch down on The Strip, it’s already too late.
Reporters receive invitations from literally hundreds of brands. Get ahead by hitting your top outlets early and pre-briefing them on news under embargo, so they can file their stories to come out the first week of January.

2. Make your booth experience both interactive and sharable.
Your booth is an opportunity to create a highly visual, interactive experience that attracts visitors. Booths with the highest traffic – both physical and social – are the ones that offer a creative way to experience the brand, test the product, or create a moment that drives social media shares.

3. Take your story to the media.
Reporters have limited time to cover thousands of exhibitors spread across three or more venues, so take the story to them instead. Of the reporter-specific events, Pepcom historically has the best traction. And don’t forget that reporters are on the hunt for executives willing to do fireside-style interviews in their on-site studios, many of which are live-streamed.

4. Insert yourself into the conversation.
A handful of topics and themes will quickly start bubbling to the surface in the first days (and immediately prior to) the show. In our experience, running an agile newsroom like StoryWorks lets you listen to the stories getting the most attention and tailor content or craft a unique point of view in real time, and ultimately ride the CES wave to greater share of voice.

5. Become a content producer.
Take a lesson from the media – create visual content from the show floor by turning executives into CES reporters. Filming short video clips of their experiences on the ground creates compelling content and puts a personal stamp on a company’s brand.

6. The story must be visual
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Even tech trade and online reporters are looking for visual – especially video – content to accompany their stories. There are dozens of camera crews roaming the halls. Make sure your story is the one they highlight by practicing visual storytelling, and be sure to target local and national broadcast outlets.

7. Different sells.
Like any big trade show, CES has its share of “me too” brands showcasing undifferentiated and often-low value products. Play up the unique, the luxury and the visual to stand out from the masses.

#CES2018 will bring together nearly 4,000 exhibitors spread across 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space. Garnering media attention is no easy feat. That’s why companies need to think strategically and then execute creatively if they want to beat the odds on getting attention from the media.

To discuss how to make the most of your plans for #CES2018, contact Lisa Sullivan, EVP and Director of Ketchum’s North America Technology Practice, at lisa.sullivan@ketchum.com.

About Lisa Sullivan

With a passion for bringing innovative and disruptive ideas and technologies to market, Lisa heads up Ketchum’s Technology Practice. Based in San Francisco, she’s on a permanent quest for the latest technology innovations, the hottest new restaurants, and the perfect glass of cabernet.

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