The Virtues of Early Planning for CES

May 08, 2017




We like the tag line for CES 2018: “Innovators Always Think Ahead.”

It really covers a lot of ground if you think about it. But aside from thinking ahead from a product and company standpoint, you need to also plan your CES presence well in advance—for optimal success and lower costs.

Way before you start tweeting about #CES2018, there is some significant work to do. We’ve broken down some of the more critical things to keep in mind when preparing for any show, but especially CES. Working well in advance will save time, money, headaches, lost revenue, lost publicity, and so on.


1. The stakes are high

For many exhibitors, CES represents the most important event of the year.  The stakes are incredibly high when you have one event that means so much – the most traffic, the largest, the biggest attendance of press, etc.  To look your best, you need to plan ahead.


2. Timing is everything

CES is notorious for creating the illusion of adequate time, but with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s falling within prime planning, building and shipping windows getting behind schedule is unfortunately common.  Partners, employees and vendors are subject to the same pitfalls often compounding the problem.  If there is ever a time be ahead of schedule, it is certainly CES.


3. Prime time for weather delays

The weather is not something we plan for, but inclement weather can postpone flights, and other transportation you need to get your booth where it needs to be. Ideally you can target the first couple weeks of advance warehouse receiving to avoid late penalties or the dreaded direct to show shipments.


4. Organize staff early

Some say it takes a village to pull off a show like CES. Depending on your booth size, space, demo stations and booth activities, you may need anywhere from 4-20 people from the company helping at your booth.  Organizing schedules well in advance helps reduce miscommunication and double-booking. Make sure everyone has dates and responsibilities, and book travel and hotel well in advance so you don’t pay more that you need to.  You don’t want to wait so long that the hotel is booked and you need to book half your crew at the overflow hotel 2 miles away. Likewise, flights also are booked early!


5. Make it a goal to be ahead of schedule

The  bottom line?   CES will cost more if you procrastinate.  Almost every line item in your CES budget can be affected waiting – design, booth build, rentals, graphics, freight, show services, lodging and transportation.


6. Can I get a rain check?

Have you ever reached out to an important media contact to schedule a ‘must have’ press briefing only to find out their schedule is booked?  Don’t miss an opportunity to get media attention for your latest product or announcement.

So, in short, you can save BIG when you plan in advance. You may not want to get shuttled around Vegas by one of the new self-driving buses quite yet, but there is something to be said to staying “ahead of the curve.”


Call today for your complimentary, no-obligation design consultation.

Post by Scott Arbogast

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