The Human Side of CES

She’s wordly, inspiring and larger than life

At Zeno, we put every brand, client and communications challenge through an important – and we think unique – lens. We look at the brand’s HUMAN characteristics. I recently attended CES 2016 on behalf of one of our North American clients, and while much is written about the products and innovations, I wanted to put CES 2016 into a human context for those who haven’t attended.


CES is the size of a small city: more than 3,800 exhibitors, 2.47 million square feet of exhibition space and approximately 300,000 people – and that doesn’t count the multitude of trade people and exhibition staff who help to set everything up and make it all happen.

The World at your Booth

Making our way to our booth on the first day, it is overwhelming to absorb the sheer number of people. In the span of 3-4 minutes, you’ll see name badges and locations for most states, and all around the globe. While English is the lingua franca, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Russian, German, Finnish and other languages add to the energy in the hall. There’s a rush through as the doors to the halls open to reveal the year’s most exciting new developments in consumer electronics.

How to survive

Whether you are walking the floor, or staffing a booth, hydration and comfortable shoes are a must, as are Vitamin C packets to keep colds at bay and plenty of water to stay energized and hydrated through the day. You walk a mile to get to your booth from the convention center front doors – let alone walking the floor to see the exhibits. A client reported that he clocked 12 miles on his activity tracker on the first day alone – and that was only visiting one of the locations.

If CES was your BFF…

Everyone has a friend who is a bit like CES: she’s someone you see once a year; a larger than life personality; a citizen of the world who seems to know everyone and everything that’s going on; a force to be reckoned with who you’re excited to see, completely absorbed by, but who’s also a bit exhausting after a few days. The same friend who is only gone a few days before you start getting excited about her next visit. In a year’s time.

This year, the humans attending CES were treated to a number of items to help them improve their homes and lives, from health trackers, to drones and even fitness apps for pets. But if there’s one thing everyone needs to make it through a trade show like CES, it is caffeine. And this is the most human cup I’ve ever had: a handmade cappuccino complete with my picture printed on the foam in coffee essence.

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