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Last week, I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas for the first time.  I’ve helped clients prepare for announcements and exhibits at the show before; but being there in person was a very different (and awesome) experience.

I had the privilege of working with Alpine Electronics, the leader in aftermarket in-car entertainment and information systems. Alpine debuts its latest technology at CES each year. This year, they showed off a new sound tuning app that will link to Facebook and the ICS-X7HD head unit, among others things. The ICS-X7HD is the first product to serve as a content aggregator of entertainment and information apps, and it will pave the way for other products to bring cloud content into a vehicle in a relevant and safe manner.

As vehicle connectivity continues to advance, the auto industry (both automakers and suppliers) plays an increasingly important role at CES. Franco’s unique combination of automotive, technology and consumer experience makes us a great fit to support clients like Alpine at the show.

I loved being there to witness the end-result of my hard work over the past few months. Alpine’s product announcements were a success. So far, consumer buzz and media coverage has been positive, and the products haven’t even hit the market yet. This was a great experience, and I look forward to my next CES visit!

Whether you attend CES for work or for fun, here are a few survival tips:

1. Plan ahead and account for travel time.

The Las Vegas Convention Center is huge – 1.9 million square feet. The South Hall is where you will find all the consumer gadgets, automotive products are in the North Hall.  You could spend days just wandering around checking out gadgets. But if you have a must-see list or scheduled meetings, be sure to make a plan in advance and give yourself up to 30 minutes to walk between meetings.

2. Have a camera ready.

You never know who or what you will see.  Alpine hosted hip hop group Far East Movement for a meet and greet with dealers on Wednesday night.  President Bill Clinton, Adam Levine, Maroon 5, Alicia Keys and several members of Congress were all at the show.  You’ll also want a camera to document your favorite gadgets for your friends when you get back home.

DJ Virman (left to right) Prohgress, J-Splif and Kev Nish held a meet-and-greet at the Consumer Electronics Show.

3.  Recharge! Make sure you can recharge all your gadgets.

There were a lot of people – more than 150,000 – who attended 2013 CES.  Everyone is competing for the same cell phone signals and wireless capability on their mobile devices.  Make sure you’ve got the means to recharge your phones, tablets and lap tops. And take some time to recharge your own battery too. As tempting as it might be to party all night long in Vegas, be sure to get some rest so you’re alert and energized to learn about the latest and greatest consumer electronics for your fans and followers. Rest will also help your feet recover each day.

4. Wear comfortable shoes!

If you’re going to traverse all 1.9 million square feet, or if you’re working a booth, your feet are going to be sore.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Change your shoes throughout the day, if at all possible.  Also, as mentioned above, take time at night to rest.  Your feet will thank you on Friday!

Do you have any tips or tricks for making your way through CES?  Let us know by leaving them in the comments section below!

Ann Marie Fortunate is an Account Manager at Franco.


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