Last week I had the experience of attending the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, my first time at CES. I was there assisting a client who had a major presence there with their live publishing from the show floor to their blog, Twitter and Facebook platforms. Client responsibilities meant I didn’t have a chance to check out much – really any – of the rest of the show outside of one of the main hallways which I used to get from Point A to Point B and which contained a Sbarro’s that served as my lunch stop two of the three days I was on the ground.
My impression of CES is that it’s extremely well organized, with lots of big booths that are assembled in the convention center that still provide for halfway decent foot traffic patterns. While the two Comic-Cons I’ve been to (in support of a different client’s similar activities) have a similar number of large-scale booths it’s the foot traffic that kills you. Maybe my perceptions are skewed since I did far more walking around at Comic-Con than I did here but it seems like things just flowed better.
Speaking of Comic-Con the other big impression I got was that the business-to-pleasure ratio among the attendees was flipped. Where at Comic-Con it’s probably 80% of folks who are there just for entertainment and because their fans with 20% then there to transact some sort of business it was, at CES, likely 80% business-oriented attendees and 20% people just there because their technology and gadget enthusiasts. This is based largely on the dress of the people I saw walking around, with most of the women in some sort of business attire and most of the men in suits with or without ties.
While my aching feet would certainly disagree with this statement I also found CES to be a lot less stressful. That’s due largely to the fact that, unlike when rendering similar services at Comic-Con, there weren’t nearly as many events/panels that happened off the main show floor. So while I didn’t feel quite as much like I was running around with my hair on fire at any given moment it also means there wasn’t quite the adrenaline rush that kept me going the entire time.
So there was good, there was bad (you have to tip *everyone* in Vegas apparently) but all in all I think the event went off as smoothly as it could have. And, at least to the best of my knowledge, we came away with a happy client. That’s the true measure of success in a situation like this.