Kagan: How to be seen, heard at CES 2024 over all the noise and chaos

CES 2024 and MWC 2024 are busy, loud, chaotic, making it hard to be found

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) of 2024 is two months away and I am already getting requests for briefings from large and small competitors who want to get on my radar. They hope I will spend time with them, learn what they are doing, then write about and talk about them. Yes, CES 2024 is a great opportunity to rise above all the chaos and noise of the industry if you do the right things first.

It seems every company has the same goal. They want to be noticed. They want to be seen and heard among industry analysts, tech influencers, customers, investors, workers and the media. This can be a difficult goal to achieve unless it’s done right.

Companies pay a small fortune just to be at CES 2024. Many think, that’s all they have to do. Just be there. They are wrong. 

What many do not realize is this only the first step. That just gets them onto the floor. It gets them into the game. 

Being discovered and having your message and brand seen and heard by the right people is the next step. 

How you can be seen and heard over the noise and chaos at CES 2024

The next question is how you can be discovered among a sea of other companies and competitors also vying for attention?

So, let me share some important thoughts with you from the perspective of one of the people companies try to get the attention of. Let me help you better understand the challenges.

Understanding and leveraging this is key to your success at this and in fact any conference. 

This applies to any one you want to convince, like Industry Analysts, Tech Influencers, columnists, the media, investors and so many others.

The key is to set the right goal for meetings at CES 2024, and in fact every other show.

Your CES 2024 goal should be to make good first impression

The first goal should not be to fully educate everyone you come into contact with. That strategy will waste of your efforts and resources.

Rather, the first goal should be to make a great first impression. One which creates positive energy and excitement, so they want to learn more. 

So, you must first set the stage. 

Remember when you met the love of your life? You didn’t start out by asking them to marry you. Rather, you started slow, then built your relationship over time. Then when both of you were ready, you popped the big question. 

You started with “first contact.”

That’s the way human beings are wired. That’s the way you must think about the opportunities you will have at events like this one. 

Peak interest of industry analysts, influencers, investors at CES 2024

Since CES 2024 will be a zoo, just peaking interest of people you target is a successful first interaction. 

You see, all you get is a few seconds squeezed between countless other company’s presentations to make first contact. 

After that initial few seconds the visitor is either tuned in or out. The noise and chaos are blinding. That makes it impossible to have the visitor learn much at all. 

So, what your goal should be is simply to start a relationship, make friends and create a desire for them to learn more after the show. At a time when it’s just the two of you and you have the time and space to tell your story properly and have it be heard and processed. 

Being discovered over the noise and chaos is top priority at CES 2024

Time and place are two of the biggest factors in scheduling a successful show.

You see, CES is spread all over Las Vegas. Too often I must traverse the strip from top to bottom to meet with various companies. Not everyone is on the main show floor at the convention center. Many are in casino suites all over town. 

The challenge is there are plenty of large and smaller companies at the show, and they all want to be seen and heard. 

This creates a high level of noise, distraction and anxiety just getting around.

Being at CES 2024 is just the first step of many for a successful show

Some companies already have a powerful brand name. They are often there to tell their story about 2024. 

Others are not as well-known, and they see CES 2024, and other shows like MWC23 as a way to punch their way onto the map of industry players who can help them. 

Remember, whether CES 2024 is a success to you, or not depends on more than just being there. That’s just the first step. To be successful, every company needs to have a plan of attack. 

Success does not just occur. It has to be created, one step at a time. It has to be earned. Take my word for it, this cannot be rushed with a short presentation at a chaotic event.

Wireless, Telecom, AI, IoT, Chatbot, Tech and more at CES 2024

I meet with the CEO and CMO of companies in wireless, private wireless, AI, Chatbot, IoT, telecom and more. It’s all about marketing and I want to hear their plans from those who lead the organization. 

Yes, it is much easier when companies arrange for a limousine service to get me from point A to point B more quickly. 

However, even with that it is still plenty of work just getting to and finding the limo in a sea of them. Then getting to the suite for the private briefing, then reversing it all to get to the next one, time after time.

Having such a high profile in this space is both a blessing and a curse. As you can imagine, I get more requests than time. 

CES 2024 briefing is just the first step followed by personal briefing

I have learned there are two kinds of companies and briefings. 

Some companies simply want to brief everyone. Others carefully choose a few key people they want to get together with. They want to connect. They want to build a longer-term relationship. These are the companies I look for.

That’s why I prefer private briefings with the CEO and CMO. This shows they take the meeting seriously. We spend a few minutes getting to know each other. After that, if we are both interested, when the show is over we find time to get together again for a more relaxed and humane briefing.

So, to me, the best first meeting is really just a way to break the ice and start a relationship which in my opinion is beneficial to the company in both the short and long-run. 

Initial #CES2024 and #MWC24 meeting is where you make ‘first contact’

I hope sharing my perspective is helpful to you as you plan and strategize for CES 2024.

Setting the right goal for “first contact”, breaking the ice and seeing whether or not you are a good match for each other. 

CES 2024 is also a great way for lesser-known companies to punch their way onto the map as well. But you must do it right. Take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity for first contact.

The same is true of Mobile World Congress 2024 or #MWC24 in Barcelona coming up in February. The challenge is the same. 

In this noisy and chaotic world, just being seen and heard is the main goal for companies at events like this. You can achieve this goal if you know how to win the hearts and minds of the attendees on your list. Make it count. 

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