Right at Home at CES Unveiled

January 5, 2011

The one thing that makes visiting Las Vegas in the dank, cold of January worth it is the people you get to see. Yes, it snowed here the other day. Second time in six years that I’ve seen snow in Las Vegas, and I’m pretty certain I can get this weather at home in Boston.

But weather aside, the familiar faces of colleagues and tech luminaries contribute to make traipsing around a monstrous trade show more fun. A smile here and some quick catching up serve to soften the reality that we’re all in a convention hall digging for stories about the latest technology.

On both accounts, last night at the CES Unveiled event at the Venetian was no different. I ran into more than my share of famous and familiar faces including pool shark Molly Wood from CNET and Tom Merrit, the host of Tech News Today on the TWIT Network. And I also said hi to product reps from companies like iHome, Sharper Image and Technocel, among others, who have some cool stuff on the pedestal for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

For instance, Sharper Image has finally taken steps to shake off the pain of their plummet and bankruptcy three years ago to emerge from the ashes with more vigor. According to Anthony Koperski, their national sales manager at Homedics (Sharper’s massage and wellness arm), the company is more focused now in bringing some great products to market – especially in the areas of home electronics and massage.

Koperski showed me a table full of iPod- and iPad-ready gadgets that the old Sharper Image might have been proud to offer. He also said that the little conference table at Unveiled wasn’t nearly large enough to show all their items. So I’m planning to go by their booth later this week to get photos and do a full review.

The iHome table was similarly packed with electronics…

…and also packed with people vying for position. From a media standpoint, I believe CES is pretty much opening their doors to anyone with a blog and not being as selective as they have in past years. But that’s a topic for a separate post/rant.

The last company I ran into last night was Technocel. They’ve got two products – the Micro USB Battery Boost and the Universal Travel Charger Plus. But what got me to remember their booth and the company name wasn’t the products, but the fact that they’re being represented at CES by people from Brookline, MA.

The BigFish marketing team was on sight and I saw some familiar faces from the Boston Social Media and tech scene. So, it all wraps together and you can’t avoid it. No matter where you go or what you’re doing, you’re bound to see folks who make you smile and help make any place familiar.

What’s the oddest event or place you’ve run into a familiar face?