This first-hand narrative is based on 30-years of attending CES to share my top techniques to get the most out of the annual spectacular tech event.
HOW TO MAKE NEWS AT THE INTERNATIONAL CES 2020 TRADESHOW
[Source: ScanMyPhotos Media Department]. Here are twelve tips for hacking and breaking through the mountainous media clutter at CES — the global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow that takes place each January in Las Vegas, Nevada. The magic is scheduled from January 7-10, 2020.
Having attended all prior Consumer Electronics Shows since 1990, ScanMyPhotos.com has dozens of additional tested recommendations that worked for us (those are secret to keep us just a bit ahead of some in our industry also attempting to score media coverage). Hey, we need to keep some cards face down. CES is like a safari hunt to locate and capture media attention.
CES is the world’s largest consumer trade show, held in Las Vegas [January 7-10, 2020] and attended by hundreds of thousands of tech innovators and an ocean of media contacts.
1) Have a compelling story. You have less than the standard 30-second elevator pitch time to grab attention. Two sentences max to attract interest. Have your story 10X better to create relevance, urgency and share something trendingly innovative. What is the “who, what, where, why and when” to your story? Is it trending, a REAL game-changer? Solve a problem: ScanMyPhotos.com solved the biggest problem in photography: we pioneered an easy and affordable – with a game-changing crazy low price to scan the nations and overseas pictures. ScanMyPhotos.com digitized 600 million photos. People are sharing these decades of nostalgic memories on all the photo-sharing apps and new photo gadget platforms and devices introduced at CES. Past news stories from the world of photo scanning.
This year we are introducing one-cent photo scanning with instant uploading and same-day scanning add-on’s. Watch below how fast pictures are digitized — 1,000 in under 5-minutes.
2) Download and memorize every tech reporters’ and bloggers’ headshots. Print up like baseball cards and study their backgrounds. Reporters at CES often hide their name badges or use others so they aren’t recognized. Tweet photos at media outlets exhibit booths with hashtags and Twitter addresses of those reporters you see there. Get personal and humanize your message
3) Focus. This is like a safari hunt to locate and capture media attention. Don’t be looking down at your mobile phone when walking, instead look forward trying to identify everyone you pass for any media in the crowd. Study the name badge and at the end of every conversation use their name.
4) Position yourself. Stand near media events and news conferences and chat with reporters as they enter, leave. Start with a friendly intro, vs. heavy pitch. One time we waiting four hours just to get a single interview.
5) Be visible, but silent. Don’t use social media to alert competitors to the media contacts you met. Use email, text, direct message on Twitter and go off-line.
6) Be ready with background information. Have an OMG “news peg” ready. Explain why it is news, timely and have a sizzling appeal. Be relevant and honest. Your detailed pitch and links should be available on your phone in notes to immediately send to those you meet. Today, reporters are on lightning-fast deadlines and can file stories and publish live on the spot. That’s how we scored this HuffPost CES story:
7) Be prepared to fulfill an onslaught of orders. Work with your customer service team (at ScanMyPhotos.com they are called “personal customer service concierges”) to prepare them for pending media coverage. The most important process in making media is to then dazzle every new customer. We even send ‘thank you” flowers to customers with compelling stories. From needing pictures scanned for a memorial service to raving fans who used our live support or called to comment on how impressed they were with ScanMyPhotos.com. Surprising customers with flowers are our only marketing budget item; people take pictures of the flowers, post with a lengthy narrative about their ScanMyPhotos.com experience and reach dozens or hundreds of new raving fans.
8) Wear comfortable shoes. Start early, stay late and network. Be bold. Ask everyone you meet what THEIR best, most successful marketing and media pitch was and who profiled them.
9) Only connect with reporters who cover your beat. There are many at CES who don’t write about your specific industry, product. Don’t waste their time.
10) Take advantage of other companies held captive in their booths. Most attendees are stuck at their booths, immobile all day. Use that to your advantage to walk the show and gain valuable visibility. Never rest. Stand near company-sponsored events to track down media guests. Our favorite area for entrepreneurial innovators and many features writers is Eureka Park, the “flagship startup destination at CES where retailers, venture capitalists, manufacturers, and others find budding entrepreneurs, fledgling startups, and homegrown innovation.”
11) Smile and buy drinks. All day and night, use this strategy to invest in scoring 15 minutes of facetime and fame. When you encounter influential media contacts online or eating, surprise them by buying their food and have the server simply hand them your card; write a brief ”your lunch was on me” message on the back.
12) Crashing the speaker sessions. Crashing panels. Research who you want to meet in advance by reviewing this CES speaker list. Plan your strategy to introduce yourself and talk to panel speakers. This is where the top innovators and leaders in tech appear in person. Arrive as the prior session is leaving. Walking in backwards works too. Talk with someone leaving or frantically explain to the staffer guarding the door that you left your laptop. Rush back in. Prop yourself in the front center row and defend your seat at all costs. Chat with others sitting next to you to create friendly, harmonious rapport.
Make eye contact and engage the speaker, then pounce. Immediately at the closing, lunge at them first. Ask a question. Explain they were the reason you attended CES. Take several candid pictures of their presentation and the cavernous audience. Include a picture of the screen displaying the speaker’s title. Use video too. Tweet key elements of their presentation, add relevant hashtags, and ”cc” their twitter address below. Even money you’ll get on there radar. They will use your content as a humblebrag that they were at CES. Google news about the speaker, any books they wrote or references they would enjoy people seeing. Practice the techniques explained in ”How to Win Friends and Influence People.” It is all about them.
The final takeaway is to preset several Twitter posts to be published afterward in during the following days discussing the speaker and quotes highlights from their presentation to stay relevant, on their radar, yet without being too stalky creepy.
BONUS: Arrive a day before CES begins. It takes days for vendors to set up their exhibits. This is the calm before the storm. There is always an entryway into the LVCC or just hover around outside. Many exhibits are located in the parking lot and in the lobby with open access. Before is the best time to meet people in a more relaxed setting.
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