CES 2016 is finally here!
We are currently in Las Vegas with Nick, Rebecca, Brian, Jonathan, and John. We have each spent countless hours sorting through emails, reviewing blogs, and like NEWBS, reviewing first time CES experiences.
So, let us share our first experience. We arrived at the airport in Las Vegas around 1045 pm on January 2. Upon arrival, we proceeded to obtain our baggage. We then went to the CES badge pick up (airport exit) and each received our CES badges. Both Nick and I received a royal blue badge labeled “Service Provider” and Rebecca, John and Brian received Teal “PRESS” badges. The people at the badge counter were unable to tell us what this meant. What were these colors? What did they access? Nobody at the counter knew. We searched Google and were unable to find any mention of badge type or color. We were told to visit the Sands Expo, at the Venetian, the next morning.
We left the airport in our rental mini van and went to our vacation rental house on the outskirts of Las Vegas, in a town called Henderson, Nevada. The drive was not bad, the scenery was quite nice and the area is very quiet. It is a nice change from the lights and noise of Vegas. Plus, the price is much more palatable than most of the venues.
The next morning after breakfast, we ventured to the Sands Expo, inside the Venetian. We parked at the hotel casino and walked to the Sands Expo to the CES booth. Still full of energy and excitement, we walked with pep and vim. Little did we understand, everything is a hike. When the first time CES sites tell you to pack comfortable shoes, listen to them. They are not exaggerating, they are not suggesting this, they are serious, wear comfortable shoes! Read on to understand more about this fact below.
We arrived at the CES registration area and talked with the people at the self registration and press/exhibit registration. They were unable to tell us what the different colors of badge represented. They could not help us. Alas, the journey to the badge continues. They had us go down an escalator, onto a different floor, inside a different hall. This walk itself was just at a quarter mile.
Entering the next exhibit hall, we found a similar CES 2016 Registration Kiosk. We talked with yet another group of individuals. Yes, this group has a book CES 2016 guide. No we could not have it, it is theirs. We reviewed our quest and this group also could not provide help to our group. However, here we me a person named Adrian. She introduced herself, took our business cards and contact information. She told us she would look into this for us. Without additional information, we returned to the previous site, to find out more answers.
Our group went back up the escalator, onto the first floor, and inside the original hall, where our day began. Here, we talked with yet a different group of people and were introduced to a very pleasant lady named Lisa. She seemed to be in charge and had information. She recommended that we go to the Las Vegas Convention Center. A gentleman drew us a map and asked us if we would like to walk a short distance. We all said sure. Guess what? There is no such thing as short distances in Vegas. Not knowing the distance, we told him yes. We started the walk, I plugged the information into my navigator app on my iPhone and found that it was a 1.6 mile walk. Once at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we talked with three other people inside of the CES media tent. They too did not know what the badge colors represented and why two of us had different badges. A head supervisor came over, flustered and already stressed, took our badges and walked away for a little while. It was at this location that others with the same problem started to emerge. We finally found Mordor. Our band of 5 got these badges to the mountain. Our quest was coming to an end. The supervisor returned 7-10 minutes later and decided to just re-register the two of us. We are now the proud owners of brand new crisp teal “Press” badges. Now what? Press bags would be available at 4 pm at the Convention Center South Hall. We had 1.5 hours to kill so explore time. Instead of walking back, we decided to take the monorail back to the Venetian. In total, it took half of a day and 5+ miles of waking to get our badges corrected.
We are lunch at a food court inside of Harrahs, rode the monorail back to the convention center (fun and good view, pricing is reasonable). At 410 we arrived at room 229 South Hall Las Vegas Convention Center. There were about 20 people in a meeting. No press bags, no press kits, nothing was ready. They did finally hand is a blue mesh bag with a Gibson hat and a piece of paper inside. Was this it? I had read about a bunch of goodies that are given out in the bags. There is a lot of postings about security, bag restrictions, no moving ride-on machines, mention of world current dangerous events. Alas, we were sent on our way. Badges in hand, we had finished our day 1 CES activities. Time to explore Vegas.
What a start to CES 2016. Luckily we arrived early, took care of this before the crowds exploded. By the end of the day we were exhausted. We had seen the Venetian, Caesars Palace, Harrahs, Las Vegas Convention Center, and finally Fremont Street. This was an experience, a fun one. We walked, a lot. In and Out burgers for dinner and then home to bed.
See you tomorrow CES 2016, see you tomorrow.