Written by 6:15 pm News

If CES was a sporting event…Musings on Press Day

The Consumer Electronics Show is the largest electronics show in the world. But what if we didn’t treat it as an expo show? What is we treated it as something else? How about a sporting event?

AR-CESPRESS-POSTIMAGE.gifEverybody who goes to CES is there for different reasons. I go because it is the most efficient way to see the maximum number of manufacturers and give them my undivided attention. During the time I’m in a manufacturer’s room or booth I try to be as receptive to whatever they wish to tell or show me as I can. At the end of the day I usually remember only the most important information to share with my readers. I call this my “level playing field” method of covering CES. I’m reluctant to admit it, but the main reason I go to CES is to see and talk to people.

Wednesday is “Press Day.” This series of almost non-stop press conferences is generally a large waste of time, but I go because it gives me a day to acclimate to LasVegas and CES. Rarely have I gotten anything out of press day that was of value to my readers.

Of course press conferences are attempts by manufacturers to un-level the playing field by grabbing more of the media’s attention than a room visit can. Although a press conference does take up more of my time than a room visit, in the end these events actually get less of my attention. That’s because while they are occurring I don’t spend much time focusing on their message. Looking around the room during the first morning’s event – Monster at 8:45 AM in the morning, most of my fellow “journalists” are spending more time looking at their laptops and iPads than they are at the Noel Lee and company.

Honestly, everything that goes on in nearly every press conference could be far more efficiently presented with an on-line power-point presentation and a couple of PDF files. The anachronistic press conference format is too slow and boring for the rev’ed up environment of CES. Next year I’m going to think long and hard about attending “Press Day.”

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