Running out of space. How CES taps your soul and hurts your feet.

January 10, 2009

Actually, the Consumer Electronics Show isn’t nearly as bad as my headline. My feet are blistered (as is my wallet), but the people I’ve met and the pieces I’ve put together for various clients have been awe-inspiring and fulfilling, respectively.

From the arrival Sunday – and please realize that we’re only at day two of this massive show – I’ve been at the microphone, on my feet and in the face of anyone with a product to sell and a story to tell.

If you’re not familiar with the machinations of a journalist at a trade event, the blueprint/gameplan/schedule is pretty much as follows…

Set up interviews, meetings, outlines, story ideas, assignments, timelines and leisure plans before you drive to the airport.

People you’ve never met send you literature and pitches asking you to cover their products in your segments. At this point, you don’t even know what the real stories are or in my case, who you’re writing or recording them for, but that doesn’t deter the PR armies from filling your inbox faster than a new Viagra drug note or a god/prayer/Nigeria/hoax email from family, friends and that nice guy named Nigel overseas who wants to give you $40Million.

You then play the planes, trains and automobiles dance to get to your hotel. I’m lucky that mine – reserved sight-unseen (or should that be site-unseen?) – was amazing. See this video for a walk around the estate.

Next you start working. For me, reporting for NPR’s Boston station WBUR meant that interviews and information had to be compiled before the show floor was even open to the media. To this end I had to attend multiple press events and consume large amounts of complimentary refreshments.*

After doing my taping of a program for Here and Now – a syndicated, immensely popular and brilliant show – I had to press the reset button on my soul and go back at it. I have other segments to write and produce for the radio station and also have three other clients in the publishing world who need content.

It’s only Saturday and the show doesn’t end for another 40 hours. If you are keeping score, I’ve met @scobleizer and @jaffejuice in person, I’ve rubbed elbows with Dick DeBartolo, have interviewed really smart people with really silly products, have interviewed really smart people with really great products, have been on high-lust status for the technology I’ve seen that may never make it to market, have lost some money at poker, and I’m still going at it.

My second NPR segment should air the middle of next week and my first is right here for your listening pleasure… ENJOY.

I’ll be giving a more comprehensive detail of the things I learned about at CES, the pieces I’ve written and recorded and some of the less professional fun I’ve had out here, soon.

For now, it’s back into the fray with microphone in hand and a smile on my face.

Keep reading!