How to Prepare for CES as an Experiential Marketing Professional
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be invading Las Vegas beginning today (January 7-10, 2020). Can you believe a new year is already upon us? Time is flying! For many EXPs this event is the kick off to a new year of executing events in various roles. So, if you happen to be one of the EXPs working CES, there are a few things you should keep in mind this year and — more importantly — avoid.
Don’t rely on other EXPs, have a backup plan.
So you’ve made plans to split lodging with a fellow industry professional, or cover part of the travel costs. This is one of the first hurdles to securing your trip and ensuring you will make a profit. Money can be the root of many disputes and lost friendships, so before you give your word or make a commitment to cover certain costs, make sure you have the funds to do so, just in case someone else is no longer able to uphold their end of the agreement. If you have an established relationship with another EXP and you routinely work together and split travel costs, then by all means, go for it. But if this is not the case, be sure to vet the individual prior and collect any payment ahead of committing to any events.
Make sure you are booked first.
Making plans and spending money with the “hopes” of being booked for CES is not enough. As an Experiential Marketing Professional, often you are an at-will contractor or employee and therefore a company or agency can cancel the contract at a moment’s notice. While this may not happen as often as it used to, there are rare cases in which it could happen. Therefore, as an EXP, it is important that you have received a booking contract, final confirmation, and event details prior to spending any money on travel expenses. Communicate any concerns with the Experiential Marketing or staffing agency prior, ensure they have payment terms explained, and pay attention to any warning signs. Yes, last minute bookings may arise during the week and at the event, but again, you are not guaranteed a position. Not taking heed could cost you time, money, and unnecessary stress.
What happens in Vegas may not stay in Vegas.
You never know who is connected to whom; therefore, practice my Brand Within a Brand (BWAB) principle. As an EXP, remember that you are there to do a job first. Take the time to study any and ALL product information, and become well-versed in your role and responsibilities. Practice your delivery and make it your own so that you are able to connect with consumers. Being professional, presentable, and personable are essential to excelling as an EXP, but they could also affect your ability to obtain future opportunities with an agency. So be on time, be proactive and accountable, and don’t allow the nightlife scene to get the best of you. Remember agencies and EXPs talk; be responsible and know your limits.
One of the reasons I love working as an Experiential Marketing Professional is the opportunity to be a part of some awesome events, and this is one of them. So have fun, create memorable customer experiences and be safe (travel in groups). Remember, you are not only representing the brand and the agency, but yourself as well.
To learn more about CES click here: https://www.ces.tech/
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