As a first time CES-goer and a major introvert, I decided to do some research leading up to the event. “Monstrous”, “complete chaos”, “madness”, and “Vegas on steroids” were some of the descriptions that I received from CES veterans. Needless to say, I remained nervous and mentally steeled myself for the event that lay ahead.
The day before CES began, a few members of the Synapse team immersed ourselves in the tumultuous set up environment. Tractors and lifts roared by as golf carts carrying booth parts zipped around booth construction, beeping their tiny horns at anyone who stepped in their way. Ruth and Duncan were holding down the fort at the Cambridge Consultants booth and we all watched in awe as the huge “doughnut” made of solid wood was hoisted into the air above the booth. Before we left, Ruth reminded us to lock away our “knickables”. After momentary confusion, we all giggled over adorable British terminology.
That night, the bleary-eyed and jet lagged Cambridge Consultants team gamely met up with us at Brooklyn Bowl for a few games, drinks, and greasy food. After some initial concern that the British don’t bowl, they let us know that they do know how to bowl, but that their local bowling alley was pretty dodgy, so they were out of practice. Now, we chalk that up to classic British self-deprecating humor, because many of us were whooped by our Cambridge Consultants teammates! Though many of us were meeting for the first time, the group had a great time teasing one another and it was a fun way to get everyone to loosen up and have fun!
Within seconds of leaving my hotel room for the first day of CES, I realized that the descriptions of CES were not exaggerated in any way. The elevators were packed to the brim. The lobby was filled with people milling around. As I trudged along the strip with thousands of other people, I realized that I felt like a soldier marching into battle, literally shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.
As the show opened for the day, a flood of attendees poured through the doors in a never ending stream. Working the booth with Cambridge Consultants was truly thrilling. As you were talking to one person, you realized that you were actually talking to several more people, because entire groups of people had stepped up and joined in on the conversation. Many people were drawn to the Steam Controller video that we played on the screen and the look on their faces was priceless. On the Kezar side of the booth, we caught several fans taking selfies with our 49ers backdrop. The Cambridge team was incredibly engaging and the variety of the booth demos managed to attract almost every person who walked by.
At the end of a busy first day, the Cambridge and Synapse teams came together for a happy hour that clients and friends could join. We expected a pretty laid back affair, but more and more people kept arriving and dozens of clients and friends joined in on the fun! The environment was lively as drinks and snacks were consumed and everyone mingled. Groups broke off to attend other events, dinners, and a ride the High Roller, but it was a great chance for everyone to get together during their busy schedule.
As CES went on, we kept expecting the crowds to dissipate, but everything was just as busy as the first day! It wasn’t until late Sunday morning that we noticed less people stopping by the booth. CES was a whirlwind event, but such a successful way to meet new companies, be exposed to new products and learn about new technologies. Our engineers departed Las Vegas feeling inspired and our business development team left town with their pockets full of business cards. 2017 was a year of CES firsts: the first time Synapse had a presence at booth, the first time Synapse got clients and friends together for a happy hour and the first time I was able to attend!