This is the first CES that I (or anyone from Reckoner) has ever attended. The show, as I’m sure you know, is ridiculously large and instead of even beginning to remotely try and cover it all I’ve decided to write a series of shorter pieces based around what it’s like attending the show for the first time. I’m calling the series ”Stories from a CES Virgin” and you can find all of them here.
Tech West is a hot mess of show floor, meeting rooms and restaurants taken over by brands to showcase their latest products. Spread across The Venetian, Sands and Wynn hotels it covers a huge ground base that extends to the lofty accommodation floors of The Venetian’s towers.
Floors 29 to 35 of the tower look like something out the hotel scenes from Inception. An endless catacomb of rooms extending as far as the eye can see from a central lobby on each floor. Behind each door is another company that may or may not have a stand on the main show floors of Tech East but are all conducting a series of appointments either showing things off to the media or meeting with buyers to launch them into new markets and beyond.
The halls stink. It’s like someone let off a fart bomb in each of the three hallways of rooms on every floor. As you make your way down them to the door you’re looking for each have their doors wide open to allay the stench. It’s gross.
Inside the rooms is a little better, some larger suits extending across multiple rooms to accommodate the large amount of product or the sheer size of them. You don’t actually need an appointment either, which seems kinda weird as you stroll into someone’s room and ask to speak to whomever might be able to help you. Sometimes there’s just no time, others they’re more than accommodating to your request.
Similar to the Venetian’s Tower suites are both the newly rebranded restaurants at the base of the hotel and the occupied meeting rooms of the Wynn hotel. These however are slightly more extravagant in their occupation. DELL & Alienware for instance took over the entire Yellowbird cafe. All of their products, new and old were on display and included in my morning meeting was unlimited coffee, a breakfast buffet and open smoothie bar.
The Wynn’s meeting suites, whilst even bigger in size than an overrun restaurant, were not fronted quite the same.
Finally the Sands Expo Hall that spread over two floors and five areas played home to an array of home automation, health, baby, personal travel devices and the NBA showing off their VR streaming products.
Just like the North, Central and South Halls of Tech East, Sands Expo Halls are populated with a litany of manufacturers and products as far as the eye could see.
Things seem a little more calm in here however. Perhaps the stands are spaced slightly further apart or because a lot of them are to do with sleep tech and meditation you’re just more at ease with all?
What was odd though was that despite this being a specific hall to showcase areas like home automation it was bastardised with some of the larger brands choosing to try their luck in the Tech East halls and not here where they would be amongst their brethren. I guess it comes down to do we want to be in a hall right next to Elgato at the Sands or do we try our luck standing out in the Central Hall alongside GoPro?