The Silver Telegram’s CES 2024 Recap

Well, it’s over and I think most of us have recovered and are moving on to the next show. CES 2024 was an active and lively show this year, but very different from shows in years past. While there was no shortage of attendance, with more than 135,000 attendees; for me there were four main trends and four PR observations from this year’s big show. Let’s dive into The Silver Telegram’s CES 2024 Recap.

Major focus on AI

While 2023 was more of an introduction on how AI was going to be leveraged for consumer tech, this year we saw a lot more AI integration and detailed views on how AI has been weaved into the latest tech. Unfortunately, AI is hard to visualize without having a final product; so we are excited to see more practical uses of AI but it was something that already was introduced in 2023. You couldn’t make a right turn without hearing or seeing AI.

More enterprise focused than consumer

We noticed a focus on more software solutions for the use of consumer technology and way more enterprise applications than ever before.

Many consumer tech brands are in the development stage

It looks like the actual innovation on consumer tech was a little redundant from previous years and felt like iterations to what is there. There seems to be some very cool tech “coming soon” but not quite ready for consumer distribution. I think we’ll see a big year in 2025, but that may be ambitious.

No remarkable consumer tech news as we normally have

There weren’t any big announcements that blew anyone away. Lots of great and cool things to look at but we seem to be in a developmental year where next year we will see more interesting innovations come to market.

What to Watch Out For in Trade Shows and Releases in 2024

From a PR perspective, there were many trends that we saw that emerged which will likely be trending in conferences and trade shows across 2024. These are things to watch out for and things to keep in mind as you attend shows and release news this year.

Media aren’t confirming meetings

I’ve been going to and pitching media at CES for almost two decades (that’s a long time 😅). However, we are seeing the media struggling to keep up with this giant (and growing) show. If you asked me 10 years ago, we could put together a full and dynamic media schedule at the show. Now, with more variety and FOMO, it is nearly impossible to nail down times/days for media to show up at your booth. The show seems to be growing to an increasing number of locations which is spreading CES out across the Vegas strip and beyond. If you don’t get ahead of them early and have hard news to share, this trend of unconfirmed meetings will continue. This shouldn’t take away from reaching out to the media in advance.

News is pre-planned, so should your marketing!

December is one of the busiest month for us as we prepare for #CES and navigate our media outreach around the holidays. A lot of the news is pre-planned so as soon as that media list hits on December 1, you should be scanning the list early to get into the hands of the big media outlets. Make sure you have a plan to reach out to them with your most exciting news and any parameters you have in place.

The term “Media” has become loose

The quality of the media list at CES has become questionable. Firstly the released media list doesn’t have about half of the information that it has had in the past and secondly, there are way too many “influencers” and “freelancers” on the list that frankly don’t seem to be verified media outlets. Because the media landscape has become increasingly broad, be careful where you focus your resources and this is for all conferences and events forthcoming in 2024.

Opportunity is on the show floor

Preparation in biz dev and media relations is key to get all the opportunities on the show floor. I gave up attending all the post-show events a decade ago, when I realized that the work that needs to be done often happens outside exhibit hours to prepare for the next day (especially true for the PR folks). We were generating media interest and following up the entirety of the show to set up, reschedule, and even move people to the right place for their interviews. Having a plan in place for each day is essential, all the way down to travel time from venue to venue.

The Takeaway – CES 2024 Recap

I will say that CES has a way of getting everyone excited and ready for the year, despite how chaotic it may be. I do wish that the focus on quality was a little higher for both the exhibitors and the media at this show. The more it progresses, the more it seems to be a money grab on how they can cram as many exhibitors and media as possible here, which I think diminishes the quality and value of the connections. You can’t possibly see everything in this short week. My closing remarks: I think the trends that we see at CES, are often reflected in the other upcoming conferences and quality over quantity will be very important in 2024. Last but not least, while I was entirely exhausted at the end of this show and did NOT appreciate my 12-hour flight delay to get home, at least I didn’t get the CES flu and that’s a win in my book!

If you feel like your brand isn’t getting the most out of their presence at CES (or any other trade show), perhaps it is time to schedule a complimentary call with the public relations experts at The Silver Telegram. In the meantime, we recommend checking out our article on 10 Critical Tips to Successfully Navigating CES as an Exhibitor and How to Drive Brand Visibility in 2024.