When I think of CES the first thing I remember getting so sick last year that I lost nearly a whole month out of my life. This year I gave myself time off for previous pain and suffering.
In many ways CES is merely a modern version of medieval market-day when all the local farmers would come into town once a week and sell their goods to the townspeople. We’re all modern and use electronic gizmos but the idea is the same – get a whole bunch of people together and have them sell and trade stuff.
There MUST be a better way…like holding it in a virtual rather than real world?
Here are the nine principal reasons I’m not going.
1. For every human at CES there must be at least 100 new viruses I’ve never experienced before, just waiting to get inside my body. I’m not interested in being their host.
2. I can get all the same info (albeit between 10 seconds and 10 hours later) from Emails and Websites as by being there.
3. Getting from one venue to another takes at least one hour, regardless of how close of far away it may be. Going from the Venetian to the Convention Center and back will rob you of two hours. And if by chance you get caught at the Convention Center at the close of the day you might as well find somewhere to have a drink because you can expect to wait at least an hour before you can even get onto the tram to go anywhere else.
4. Meals in Las Vegas fall into three categories – excellent and very expensive, OK and way overpriced, or cheap and bad. And if you’re really unlucky you’ll combine overpriced and bad with food poisoning.
5. Humans need fresh air to breathe. There simply is NO fresh air anywhere in Las Vegas. Someone once told me that the Venetian uses fresh coffee beans to flavor their recycled air, but it still reacts with my lungs the same way as pure unfiltered cigarette smoke.
6. One of the perks for journalists going to CES is the chance to have a meal at a fine restaurant on someone else’s dime. But when the meal begins at 8:00 PM and ends at midnight, it’s kind of hard to return to your hotel room to write up your day’s travels and still be bright eyed and awake by the start of proceedings the next morning, and if you decide to enjoy some alcohol you are double-fogged.
7. It’s impossible to cover everything in even one product category. For journalists who actually want to do their jobs it’s the equivalent of having Colombo as your information source…”just one more thing…”
8. The Las Vegas Airport. The good news is that the Las Vegas airport is physically very close to where you want to go. The bad news is that physical proximity doesn’t matter. If you arrive during the CES “hump” you will have an opportunity to wait on the longest taxi line I’ve ever seen. Last year it serpentined back and fourth four times the length of the airport.
9. Unless you or your publication is willing to spend big bucks on a hotel room it will, most likely, suck. Although I never had the thrill of staying at some of legendary dives such as the now razed Oriental Palace, “mid level” establishments such as the Golden Nugget, New York – New York, Treasure Island and The Flamingo all have more than enough trashed and semi-functional rooms to keep legions or CES visitors unhappy for days…
And, finally, the one reason that I regret not going to CES – I won’t see all my friends, business associates, and frienimies, whom I enjoy far more than I usually admit and are always more interesting than any of the new gear.