CES Unveiled: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

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CES Unveiled Las Vegas, the official media event of CES, traditionally takes place 48 hours before the kick off of the show. Mostly geared towards the international press and industry analysts, each year CES Unveiled Las Vegas brings together approximately 1,500 journalists from around the world to discover the Best of Innovation Awards Honorees and a selection of top tech products. But with a cost starting at $2,000 for the booth alone, startups working with a tight budget often wonder if it’s truly worthwhile. Here’s the checklist you need to decide.

As the third most represented nation in the CES (after the U.S. and China), France is fortunate enough to host its own "CES Unveiled." Next October*, CEO and President of the CTA (Consumer Technology Association, organization which provides CES), Gary Shapiro, will be in Paris to present the global innovation trends and make a series of exclusive announcements regarding the upcoming 2019 edition and the CES Innovation Awards.

In total, four CES Unveiled events take place before the official trade show (kicking off January 8th this year) starting with Amsterdam in September, Paris in October, New York in November, and finally Las Vegas in January. At each CES Unveiled event, between 80 and 150 tech startups and global brands are showcased. Compared to 4,400 companies exhibiting at the official trade show, CES Unveiled events offer a special opportunity to circumvent the announcement overload at CES and take advantage of focused media attention.

Below are the boxes you should check before registering for a CES Unveiled event:

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4 Questions You Should Answer Before Deciding…

…On Joining A CES Unveiled Event

1. I have a functional prototype to show the press. Without it, you’ll have little more than words to convince, which will prove harder, faced with your competition, which will no doubt bring their shiny new toy to display…

“There is nothing more frustrating than watching the next booth get swarmed by curious viewers and journalists because they took the pain to prepare a ‘show’ for the public to watch. In a noisy, over saturated environment, one has to find ways to attract attention to their product,”
— explains Alicia Eyme, Senior Account Executive at Oxygen USA who attended CES last year.

2. My marketing messages and sales pitch are written in several languages, including (obviously) English. For example, a French startup attending CES Unveiled Paris should have documents available in both English and French.

“If a non-native speaker took care of roughly translating your assets, it will show once presented to an American audience. Unveiled is international for sure, but the real goal is often to penetrate the American market.”
— Alicia Eyme

3. I’m mastering my elevator pitch….and more! I’m able able to articulate my value proposition for 2 minutes. I’m also comfortable with answering questions (i.e. ahead of the event I have prepared my own FAQ to anticipate potential journalists’ inquiries).

“Keeping a copy of your product’s presentation in Englishis very different from being able to pitch ‘live’ with someone in a language that you are not used to. To succeed at Unveiled, you need to be able to demonstrate mastery of the technical terms AND be able to present your product in the most accessible and attractive manner.”
— Alicia Eyme

4. I can be an exhibitor at CES...or not. Indeed, exhibiting at CES Las Vegas is not a requirement to take part in a CES Unveiled event. Applications are open to every company that has created an innovative B2C product.

“From a purely PR perspective, the most crucial event is Unveiled. Throughout the rest of the fair, you will see fewer journalists, bloggers, and influencers and more industry players. It all depends on your immediate goals and what you can afford.”
— Alicia Eyme

To what extent can CES be central for my company?

  • Be identified by the media.

Journalists regularly publish articles about the products presented at CES between October and the end of January. CES Unveiled events are a way for them to select their next topics, and especially to test and form an opinion on a product quickly.

  • Establish a relationship with journalists.

Meeting entrepreneurs for an interesting and friendly exchange is worth all the best press releases in the world. Remember that not all publications can afford to send journalists to Las Vegas. CES Unveiled events, as mini CES events,  are often a unique opportunity to meet your local specialized reporters.

  • Ensure media coverage in the national and international media more easily than during the exhibition.

  • Defend your "CES Award." Even if you’re lucky enough to win a CES Award, competition is fierce! About 60 awards are given each edition. Journalists won’t necessarily be able to talk about all the products (even if they were interested in all of them)

  • Make the most of your investment. Since you have decided to showcase in Las Vegas, focus your efforts on drawing media attention and meeting your future business partners!  Note that some exhibitors even participate in several Unveiled events as they see strong business potential in them, too.

For any additional information, feel free to get in touch!

*This year, CES Unveiled Paris will be held at the Paris Motor Show on October 3, 2019. Investors and executives from the automotive industry are also welcomed at the event.