A compendium of original and borrowed content regarding Tablet PCs and fun Technologies

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CES an Exhibitor's Prospective

In the past 2 weeks since CES 2008, as I've been recovering from CES Flu, I’ve been keeping up with the posted reactions and responses to CES from various bloggers and journalists including GottaBeMobile, TabletPC Review and The Mobile Gadgeteer. It was enlightening to read people’s responses to the TabletKiosk 2008 product line (both positive and negative) as well as staying informed of what our competitors will be offering on 2008.

Reading the online coverage, I realized that I’ve never seen a posting written from the perspective of a show exhibitor, so I’m going to provide an overview of our response to CES. Obviously, the TabletKiosk perspective of exhibiting from our 10’x 20’ private meeting room is quite different from the companies who spent millions of dollars for their mega-booths. However I hope that by reading this, you get some insight about how exhibitors work the show.

To prepare for this year’s show, we began planning at CES 2007. In case you are not aware, most of us are already working planning for next year’s show because exhibitors reserve their space a year ahead of time. Behind the scenes, exhibitors meet with CES reps at assigned meeting times (according the show priority points) at the LVCC and Sands. In these meetings, HUGE floor plans of the entire show are taped to the walls and exhibitors claim their spaces, pay deposits and sign contracts on the spot. As you can imagine, it’s quite an operation for CES. By Wednesday afternoon at noon, most of the large booths were placed and the entire Meeting Space for the South Hall was full.

Due to the fact that TabletKiosk markets our products to the enterprise market, we purposefully limited our exposure by securing a private meeting room instead of a booth. This provided us with the perfect outlet to meet with key customers, bloggers and partners in a completely controlled environment away from the show floor. Because our meeting room was set aside from the main floor, we were able to schedule staff in conjunction with meeting times instead of according to show hours. We also were free to lock up the room to leave for the tablet gathering.
Over the course of the show, our goal was to introduce people to our upcoming devices the eo i7300 UMPC and the g840XT Ruggedized Tablet. (
more about the devices in an upcoming post)

These two new Tablet PCs had not been announced prior to CES and overall response was overwhelmingly positive. The eo i7300 was praised for its innovation and critiqued for its appearance in the blogs. The g840XT Rugged Tablet PC won universal approval and is an exciting addition to our line. I have to say that throwing a prototype on the floor to show the durability of the ruggedized tablet is not for the faint at heart.

So how did we spend our time in Vegas if we weren't traipsing through the show halls? Our days included 7:00am conference calls with Europe, customer meet-ups in our meeting room, partner meetings in their booths, PR events, breakfast meetings, podcasts, customer dinners, planning sessions with our 4 members of our R&D team who flew in from Taiwan and sales pitches from every component manufacturer you can think of… To top it all off, three of us caught the CES Flu and Martin got food poisoning (you can bet he won’t look at a plate of jambalaya the same way again).

So that sums up our CES adventure for 2008. Luckily, we have a whole year to recover!

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