I’ve attended conferences in Vegas more times than I can count, and have picked up some tips and tricks along the way. Whether you’re attending CES 2015 or another major industry function in Sin City, read on so you – or your devices – don’t run out of juice.
Wear comfortable shoes and layers
Unless you’re giving a keynote, workplace appropriate jeans, fleeces, and running shoes will blend right in. Don’t forget that Vegas is a desert, and with that comes a wide range of temperatures – including icy winds outside while you wait for a ride. And there will be lots of waiting, so when it comes to your feet, I can’t emphasize comfort enough. As soon as you enter the jam-packed expo halls, be ready to peel off your layers and stash them in your crowd-ready backpack.
Bring a spare charger and battery pack
Finding an outlet in the expo hall can be tricky, so I like to follow the rule of ABC: Always Be Charging. Make sure all your devices – including a spare or external battery pack – charge while you sleep and if you’re lucky enough to spot a spare outlet… well, you know what to do.
To preserve battery, turn your brightness down and turn off notifications while you’re in conference sessions – it has the added bonus of being good audience etiquette. While you’re in the expo hall, put devices in airplane mode so they’re not constantly searching for a signal. You’ll have better luck posting photos of smart cars and paper-thin TVs once you’re outside, anyhow. When you finally do share your photos, don’t forget to tag #TripItPic and #CES2015. Your picture might be featured on our Instagram account – @Tripitcom.
Don’t overlook networking opportunities en route
I wouldn’t say I’m normally chatty on planes, but some of the most interesting and in depth conversations I’ve had in the air have occurred on the way to/from CES. Don’t be surprised if most of the passengers are fellow conference goers. And if you find yourself in the taxi line, it’s pretty much all CES attendees, too. So, have business cards handy before you land in Vegas, and start looking for those six degrees of separation.
The early bird gets a seat
Build in extra time to get around. It will take you at least twice as long as normal to check into your hotel; get from your hotel to the convention center (fortunately the shuttle buses run on a schedule); find meetings, sessions and booths; and get back to your hotel. Block off the time into TripIt and sync it to your calendar so you don’t overextend yourself. And if you want to hear one of the keynotes, get in line at least an hour ahead of time; and for conference sessions, at least a half hour ahead. Seeing Will.i.am talk tech was worth the wait!
Stay fed, hydrated, and rested
Long days at the convention center make breakfast extra important. Always have a bottle of water with you. Don’t assume everyone stays out all night partying – in fact, Vegas has some amazing restaurants where you can gather a more intimate group instead. Catching a Cirque du Soleil show is another one of my favorite ways to unwind while resting your feet. And sleep – or nap – as much as possible.
If you plan ahead and pace yourself – and your devices – you’ll get the most of your time at CES.
Don’t forget to use TripIt to organize your CES 2015 itinerary. Hope to see you there!