- Bring a hydration pack
Those small backpacks with a water bladder and tube. If you can get away with something other than a full-on briefcase, this will give you a chance to stay hydrated in the people-packed desert-air as you walk miles each day throughout the space. It’s easy to forget to drink and pricey if you forget to throw your water bottle into your bag, and this was super helpful for me. Also awesome- it means your bag gets lighter as the day goes on!
2. Avoid the Eureka Park Sands exit if cigarette smoke bothers you. The people working there clearly try to keep folks away from the door, but it’s a loosing battle and it is a staggering number of folks actively smoking at any given time.
3. Bring/buy food if you are an entrepreneur on a budget and eat at your hotel or pack your lunch.
4. Don’t worry about the arrival to check-in gap. I came in fairly early on Monday morning, but my hotel’s check-in was 4pm, so I just spent my working day at the airport and it was lovely.
5. Bring enough clothes for each day. When I pack for an easy trip, I usually plan to re-ware some stuff, but CES is not the place for this. You don’t want to be diving back in to yesterday’s collection of other people’s coughs and sneezes on your shirt and you certainly don’t want to be the smelly person.
6. Look for events going on in the evenings on social media- they may even be advertised to you. Often these have free food and a better, more focused, population looking to discuss one particular thing.
7. Don’t get drunk.
8. No for real- don’t get drunk. Play at Vegas on your own time. I saw people miss meetings and be down right unprofessional the next day because they “had too much fun” the night before. Get here and do the stuff you are here for.
9. Follow up with contacts you made each day that evening or else you might forget what you were so excited about, miss a detail that was important, or even loose their contact information.
10. Send daily updates to your mentors about something. I was going to do a “what we did at CES today” update, but there was just so much, I decided to tell them just one cool thing about what we are up to for every day I was there. Our company is early and small, so a big CES release of a new product or feature wasn’t going to be our thing. This worked out just fine :) Also, keep notes — journal style, blog style, whatever — so you can use what you learned to share out to folks afterwards.