What's it really like at CES? The problem is that there are a lot of different versions of CES – two in particular.
This is what I try to illustrate in this new post now on LinkedIn. Here's a brief excerpt:
The Public CES is the one the media covers. Want to see the curved 4K TVs with OLED or whatever nanoparticles that make the picture a million times better than the set you bought last year? Want to see the new smart washing machine that has a smaller version of a washing machine built into it? (That’s a real product from LG.) Want to see lots of models running on treadmills to show off wearable devices? Want to see that startup being crowdfunded by the entrepreneur whose startup there last year didn’t meet its crowdfunding goal so he’s copying the guy in the booth next to him? All that and more abounds in the Public CES…
The other CES is the Shadow CES. This is the one that tends not to get as much attention, but for some brands, it’s more productive. It happens at places like the Cosmopolitan or Four Seasons. A more official version of the Shadow CES took place at the Aria this year. Dubbed the C-Space, it was where marketers could meet up with established media companies like NBC Universal and emerging ones like Samba TV. They could also meet with each other. I joined one private discussion with select executives from an advertising trade association. While it had little to do with CES directly, it was a terrific opportunity to learn from these people who I wouldn’t have readily met otherwise.
There's a lot more about this Second CES, so head to LinkedIn for far more context on this theme, and your comments are welcome there as well. It's actually the fourth post I've shared on LinkedIn, and except to see more there this year, especially when I have some thoughts that aren't a natural fit for an outlet like Ad Age, which will continue to be my go-to.