CES 2014 Survival Kit – The Things You Cannot Live Without In Las Vegas
Peter Donnell / 4 years ago
Tradeshows are hard work, it can involve miles of walking everyday, long days with many meetings, busy trade show floors, navigating unfamiliar cities and locations, lots of talking, writing, shooting images and video and dozens of other tasks that need to be completed on the go, without the usual home comforts that you may be used to at home or in the office. Having the right tools with you can make the experience a lot more enjoyable, make your work and life easier and hopefully make sure you’re not feeling to beat up by the end of the day.
Today we’re taking a quick look at some of the items we here at eTeknix can’t live without when we visit trade shows, more specifically I’m taking a look at the tools we each need with us here at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Keeping yourself in great condition is vital, your health should come absolutely first, because being ill or under the weather is going to make your life a living hell, especially given the long hours these shows require you to be on your feet. Vegas can really take it out of you if you’re not used to the climate, so having Vaseline and lip balm with you at all times will help prevent the rapid onset of dry and painful lips / nose. Pro Plus can help give you the boost when you really need it, and a full complement of pain medications such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and Codeine work wonders for muscle pains, sore feet, head aches or worse… hangovers. Cleaning wipes or gel are vital, as is deodorant, keeping clean and presentable is always advantageous.
Never go anywhere without your passport, as far as ID goes, it’s perfect for ensuring you can get entry to the many age restricted locations in Vegas, I’m 29 and look plenty old enough, but security is everywhere and will ask regardless, so it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Your press / visitor passes are important too as many locations will be out of reach without it. Business cards, a pen and of course your hotel room key-card are things you should never be without.
Mobile devices – Can’t stress these enough! A tablet, smart phone or both will be your most vital tool and great for keeping track of appointments, emails and social media when you need it. However, the best tool here is the USB battery as most mobile devices will not the last day under heavy usage, so having something to keep them charged on the go is essential.
As journalists we need to be able to shoot video, take pictures, record sound etc, so having portable camera equipment with fully charged (and spare) batteries will work wonders, but even if you’re just a member of the public visiting a show it’s always great to be equipped to capture many of the great moments that can unfold at these kind of events.
Money is always important at a show, as you’ll need to purchase drinks and food throughout the day. The more important aspect is that Vegas relies heavily on a tipping culture, so expect to pay tips for drinks, taxis, porters, valets etc. For example, the Casino will offer you free drinks if you’re playing the slots or tables, but a single dollar tip from each member of your group when you’re bought a drink will likely ensure the waitress returns more often. Casinos have free membership cards, these are a great tool to have, they offer big discounts, rewards and more for everything from hotel rooms, cash back on gambling, and lower price meals and many top locations.
Vegas isn’t particularly warm this time of year, but it’s still bright during the day so having a good set of shades will help keep your eyes strain free from the low sun at this time of year.
Stay hydrated at all time, plenty of water is vital for any trade show as headaches can quickly set in. Beer may be tempting and you’re likely going to partake in a good share of it, but the water must still be consumed in-between, maybe even a few coffees when you’re feeling the burn of several hours on your feet.
A decent ultrabook helps get the work done, there is often the temptation for a high performance system, but something with long battery life, slim form factor and a lightweight design will ensure that you can keep working without relying on a plug socket, and that you’re not feeling the strain of carrying it around all day. We use the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro.
A multi purpose bag or backpack will be needed to carry all your stuff in a safe and comfortable manner. Something like the Lowepro Event Messenger 250 we have will hold a camera, flash, camcorder, tablet, phone, ultrabook, chargers, water bottle and more without the need for a big rucksack.
It’s obviously vital to have the right tools with you and you may or may not need absolutely all of this stuff given your personal plans for the day. Just remember to keep everything charged overnight so that it is ready to go, pack as if you’re not going back to your hotel room for the whole day, and pack as many redundancies as possible such as spare batteries, a separate supply of cash such as $20 in your bag and keep it separate from your wallet. Make sure that if you’re travelling internationally to get your mobile on a package deal from your provider to keep call costs to a minimum, and be prepared to pay high charges for internet at your hotel room.
So long as you plan in advance, trade shows and especially CES can be a great experience and now that we are ready to go, with all the right tools at our disposal, the eTeknix team look forward to bringing you loads of great coverage from the show.
If you want to keep up with the very latest from CES 2014, please keep an eye on our CES 2014 live gallery here.