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Sunday, January 06, 2008

CES Real Estate - Finalize Your Plans now for 2009

If you are a consumer electronics, manufacturer, distributor, licensee or multi-national that is the licensor of intellectual property, there may be no more important trade show than the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Nevada.  The show runs for 4 days and as much business is done during the day as happens in the evening and in the middle of the morning hours.

One of the most important investments in CES is finding the right booth space, and in that regards it is all about real estate.

Location, Location, Location!

The show is segmented off for different types of products and depending on the nature of your business (automotive goes in North Hall, Home products go in the South hall) the two most dynamic areas for the show are typically in the massive Central Hall and in the Sands/Venetian convention centers.

The massive corporations of the world (Sony, Panasonic, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Microsoft) all populate the Central Hall, along with a number of companies that work with them or support them with accessories or distribution.  Being close to these companies and their booths (enormous displays that might be better measured by the acre as opposed to the foot), can mean that your company benefits from their foot traffic.

But being too close to the sun, might melt your wings as well.  If your company does not have the budget to put up a booth, whose quality or artistic design is some where close to the levels set by these companies that spend millions on their 'booths', then your company may appear to be less successful.

For the last two years, the new hot area to be at in CES was in the Sands/Venetian convention center.  Its about 2 miles away from the main convention center, and you will want to ride the bus there probably as the walk is not really conducive to pedestrians (I've done it twice).  The thing about this part of the convention is that it usually has the coolest, newest tech gadgets.  This is where the cool dancing robots are and every other gadget that has a major WOW factor.  Again positioning your booth close to these (much smaller booths) can bring you some great foot traffic and media too.  But over here you do not want to get too far from the real action on the floor.

Last year this was also the primary location for most of the south asian manufacturers that throw up small half booths providing a product catalog for the products they can manufacture for you under and outsourcing deal. 

Make no mistake, this is the place to wheel and deal, but its not a sexy area of the show.  There isn't that much foot traffic here, and the traffic that goes through the area is no nonsense on a mission to find a deal or make an appointment for a business meeting to complete a deal.