While there will be plenty to see on the floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week, much of the value from attending the Consumer Electronics Show can be found in the event’s less-crowded corners.
These are the hotels, parties, dinners, panels and spaces, away from the row upon row of cheaply made phone accessories, where the shadow CES takes shape.
Here is a look at the biggest events of the week, some known and some less so:
For the first time, the South Korean electronics maker is taking top billing at CES. On Monday, Boo-Keun Yoon, Samsung Electronics CEO, will be the keynote speaker at the Venetian to cap off the media day at which the big electronics companies–Sony, LG, Dish, Panasonic and others–will host press conferences.
Las Vegas Convention Center: Day 1
On Monday, before doors open officially, the convention center will host a day focused mainly on advertising sessions, like “Social Advertising: Driving Brand Awareness,” “Premium Advertising: Monetizing the Global Mobile Universe” and “YouTube: Unlocking the Power of Programming.”
C-Space at Aria
The more official advertising heart of CES is this new space opened at the Aria. The most important executives in media, technology and advertising will stop by, including those from Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Hulu and dozens of others. Adweek is a media partner, and MediaLink is coordinating the space that opens Tuesday.
This company is the bridge between marketing and technology that spans all over CES. The most important events of the week for any marketer have MediaLink written all over them. That’s why Monday night’s official kick-off party is a must for the advertising and tech industry. It is at the Wynn Hotel’s Tryst Nightclub.
Just like during Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the most exclusive dinners are intimate affairs for only the top executives. Google is said to be hosting a dinner and Facebook will have an invite-only party. Agencies have dinners for top tech and marketing clients. UPDATE: MediaLink is doing a Tuesday night dinner and cocktail party co-hosted by Conde Nast for a couple hundred of the week’s most important attendees, and it’s the hottest ticket in town. MediaLink also has cocktail party co-hosted with McCann.
The iHeartMedia Party is an annual tradition and is set for Wednesday night at Mandalay Bay. Tuesday night at the Venetian, Snoop Dogg is performing at CNET’s party. An indication of how serious the ad world is about CES, Starcom MediaVest and MRY are putting on a party and concert at Cosmopolitan’s Marquee nightclub on Thursday night for dozens of clients.
OK, back to work. It’s not all about parties and dinners. The most innovative startups that attend CES will most likely congregate in this area at the Sands Expo next to the Venetian. It is open Tuesday to Thursday and will feature the Startup Stage and TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield.
Agencies are conducting convention center tours to show their clients how this year’s tech on display could influence the future of advertising. Among those planning tours, MediaLink has one set for Thursday, and DigitasLBi is doing walkabouts on Tuesday to check out trends and innovations in wearables, connected homes, 3D printing and robotics.
This is yet another hub for marketers to glimpse the future of mobile, where every big brand, tech company, startup and ad agency will come. The conference within a conference takes place Monday and Tuesday at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.