When I went to my first CES in 2008, I didn’t know exactly what to expect and I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity. I met with tons of different tech companies, I met up with many of my fellow tech journalists, I played in a charity poker tournament, and I hopped between multiple industry parties every night. It was a very busy few days and it was a very rough introduction to the nature of the world’s largest technology trade show. Eight years later, CES 2015 was an entirely different experience.
In years past, it was not out of the ordinary to have between six and ten appointments a day, meeting with the different tech companies to check out their latest products. It was not out of the ordinary to follow this full day of appointments with business dinners, industry parties and a full night of gambling. That’s not at all what happened this year.
We almost didn’t even make it to Las Vegas this time around and it was thanks to some last minute sponsorship that we made it out to CES 2015 at all. As a result, we didn’t have nearly as hectic a schedule as we normally do at the show. In the first two days, we had a grand total of just three appointments. The pacing was far more relaxed.
To make matters even more unique, we left Sin City on the day that CES 2015 officially started.
That’s on an official level and anyone who has attended the show will know that the action really starts a couple days before that. Even so, I didn’t attend any of the pre-show press conferences. I didn’t go to press preview events like Digital Experience or CES Unveiled. Indeed, I didn’t even go to any of the industry parties (though most of those would have been later in the week anyhow), nor did I roam the actual trade show floor at the LVCC.
Some people may look at this trip and say that I missed out. If this had been my first time at the show, then I may have agreed. Since CES 2015 was my eighth time (and I had already been to Vegas several times before), I’m not as inclined. To have a more relaxed schedule while still being able to meet up with several industry contacts and friends who I may only see once a year was a nice change of pace.
But as I mentioned before I left, the real heartache and the most significant change from previous years was that this year I had to leave a little human being behind without her father. To be honest, I’m not really sure how regular working folk are able to do it on a daily basis. Despite the many sleepless nights that will surely continue, I think she’s worth it.
What will CES 2016 look like? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.