|Benchmark Reviews Experiences 2008 International CES|
|News - Featured Website News|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 11 January 2008|
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CES In Only Two Days
Originally my plan included a flight down to Las Vegas from Reno on Sunday morning, and check into my hotel after lunch. Since hotel reservations are cut-throat around show time, I made mine two months in advance; and even that was cutting it way too close. In all honesty, I discovered a terrific hotel about five miles south of the main strip of mega-hotels and it cost less than three hundred dollars for two nights stay. All in all, it was a steal for any hotel in Las Vegas; especially for CES.
Unfortunately, Saturday brought in over a foot of snow and the Reno/Tahoe International Airport cancelled my flight. With my hotel reservation sold to the highest bidder the moment I don't check in by early evening, and my plans of a productive CES quickly becoming only hopeful wishes, I had to act fast. Reno is a six hour drive to Las Vegas with no stops, and empty bottle, and good weather. But with snow falling fast, it looked like I would be making it with snow tires - which is exactly what happened. Almost eight hours after leaving the cold clutches of slippery Reno, I arrived in warm and dry Las Vegas... just in time to save my reservation and get ready for the CES Launch Party held in the Absolute Suite at Caesars Palace by NZXT, Tagan, TechZone.com.
Instead of a solid two days of CES, my visit was suddenly cut down to only Monday and half of Tuesday. Thankfully, I am a meticulous planner, and had already taken advantage of the very detailed CES Personal Planner site to map my every move. So with a long drive, and a long night of unwinding with John "Party Animal" Chow and his cohorts from ThinkComputers.com and FutureLooks.com, I had to make sure not to loose the opportunity to get an early start on opening day of the 2008 International CES.
Since Benchmark Reviews concentrates on computer hardware and closely related consumer electronics, it wasn't an impossible task to meet and great the manufacturers in this industry in under two days. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy day, even for someone like me who is in top physical shape, so I made sure that I wore two pairs of black dress socks to avoid blisters and used cushion insoles to alleviate back and knee pains. All of this worked in my favor, as I swiftly navigated the entire LVCC and briefly met with over one hundred different industry heads.
One special note that's worth mentioning is the press releases you receive once you sign up for CES. I now know a dirty little secret: you don't really have to attend to meet the marketing department for the exhibiting companies. CES offered a very good online interface which allows anyone who signed up for CES to "connect" and share contact information with one another. Although face time in invaluable and proves that you are not just a fly by night website, if you cannot make CES than it benefits you to still get registered and gather contact information.
Even though I laid eyes on the LVCC around 7:00AM, it wouldn't be until nearly 9AM that I was able to enter the convention. Thanks to very limited and out of reach press rooms, which for some reason turned an ordinary badge holder into a valued object, I walked nearly a mile before my journey would officially begin. Sadly, even the largest shows have their own degree of poor planning; but on the upside I did get a very nice (as in worth $60) Toshiba backpack complete with detachable carry back cross-latching straps. This would be the start of my swag collection, and a very long day that extends twelve hours later into the dark closing hours of day one.