Pressers – the lifeblood, and bane, of CES in Las Vegas

January 8, 2013

For eight years or so I’ve covered the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This year, 2013, is no different. I’m here with thousands of other journalists on the ground in Vegas dashing from venue to venue trying to get a story. Now that it’s Tuesday morning (at least here on the West Coast), things start to settled down. By ‘settle down’ I mean that the media can finally start focusing on doing real one-on-one interviews and product reviews on the show floor and other exhibit areas.

Why isn’t that possible on the ‘Press’ days? Because there are too many press conferences. To give you an inside glimpse into the madness, would you believe the line to get into the big-name pressers (that’s the cute name for press conferences) for companies like Samsung, Casio, Sony and Panasonic nears three hours?

That’s right. Even though these events have required preregistration for years, you still have to wait in line to be assured a seat. So hotel hallways are littered with reporters and photogs leaning on walls, splayed on the floor, sitting in stolen chairs while they wait for the presser to begin.

Then, when we get in, the information is pretty much the same thing we could get five minutes after the conference on the press kit they hand out as you leave. Or we could visit the company site to see how soon after the event they update the site. So why do we have to be there?

To get the news, of course. While it might only be an exclusive for a moment, or your photo might be the only one of the guy on the podium with his hands waving wildly, it’s still YOUR scoop.

So, that’s what we do it for. Thought I’d share, just so you’d know what’s really so exciting and glamorous about big media events. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is great fun. But the real fun starts today when I can cruise the actual convention center floor and play with some gadgets and get the inside story on the technology that will help you live better in the future – or at least have more fun.

Keep an eye on for a series of interviews all week long with tech company reps talking about their products.