As many of you know, I headed to CES last week. It will take me a few weeks to get through all the things I saw. I do plan to highlight many of the products and hopefully in the next few months try them out and give a full review for you.

140,000 CES Attendees

I’m not new to trade shows. I’ve attended many and my husband is a trade show VP and my parents even ran a local antique show when I was a kid. But nothing prepared me for the 140,000 people at CES. It was a bit overwhelming at first. I had no idea where to begin.

I do not know the number of exhibitors, but let’s just say a LOT! Many of the booths were not booths, they were small office buildings with 2 stories and kitchens. It was Microsoft city and Intel city and LG city and Panasonic city.

Plan Ahead

Once I got over the enormity of it and focused on what I wanted to see, I felt better. The one thing I did which helped me was to plan ahead. I downloaded the iPhone App for CES11 and marked the companies I wanted to be sure to see. Then I was able to map them out right on my phone. I picked a building and started by finding those I planned to see ahead of time. I would see other things along the way too.

Not Another Tablet

I heard about all the great stuff that was unveiled, but I didn’t get a chance to see most of it first hand. Every body had a tablet and every body had thousands of people trying to look at the tablet. I decided that wasn’t going to benefit me or my readers to just stand in line to see a tablet. All the big sites will cover those. So I set out to find some smaller booths with gadgets that are “not a tablet” and that you would love. I found a lot.

One mistake I made was setting up appointments ahead of time. Next year, I won’t do that because I rarely made it to the appointment on time. Not because I didn’t try, but mostly because of the number of people. It was very difficult getting from one place to another in less than 30 minutes. On the opening day there was a huge traffic problem because of a hazard spill in front of the Wynn. I missed all my morning appointments because I couldn’t even get to CES on time.

My big plus? I had my husband with me who knows the Las Vegas Convention Center like it’s his second home. He has been doing shows there for the last 20 years so he knew exactly how to get from building to building the easiest way. That saved me often.

Worth My Time?

On Saturday, it slowed down a lot and I was finally able to really get into booths and talk to people. That was really nice. I made a lot of awesome contacts and I feel it was definitely worth my time.

If you are a tech blogger, you definitely have to go to CES at least once. I will definitely go again, but I will plan more in advance and make less appointments. I think I also may plan to arrive the first or second day, but stay through the fourth day. I think I got more done in the 4 hours I was there on the 3rd day than I did on day 1 and 2.

So, watch next week when I start highlighting some of the products I saw with pictures and video.

Let’s Talk! Did you go to CES? What were your thoughts? Would you go again? If you haven’t gone, do you want to go?