This is the second year I have attended CES and things just seemed significantly different this time around. I am not sure if the industry is changing, there are just more people attending CES, or if it’s just that I’m getting old. Perhaps it could be a combination of all these things, but I had a less enjoyable experience at the events of CES this year than I did in the past.
Absence of Women
It’s not alarming that that are less women than there are men. The technology industry in general has always attracted more men, even though women actually make more technology purchases. I believe this is changing, but it’s doing so slowly.There were very few women in attendance that were press and most of the women that were on the show floor were booth babes hired for their bodies rather than their technical expertise.
I had the opportunity to meet a few of these women and I found it unfortunately that several of these women seemed to view other female bloggers and journalists as competition With so few women showing an intelligent presence at CES the last thing any of use needs to think is that there isn’t a place for all of us the tech trade show.
Booth Reps Who Aren’t Knowledgeable
Part of this goes back to the irritation of having the “booth babes” standing around. But really, if a vendor that creates hipster headphones insist on hiring models to prance around in tight clothes in high shoes you’d think they’d take 5 minutes to go over the basics about the product wouldn’t you? Well, let me just tell you, they don’t. Or they do, and the women they hire don’t retain the information.
Over half of the people at booths that I tried to ask for information either had no clue or had a slight clue but not the big picture. This was actually for both men and women. In my humble opinion (and the part of the me that’s a big customer service advocate) everyone in the booth should be able to answer simple questions like price-point, battery-life, and the date the product will go to market. There should be no need to location on guy to answer questions. Everyone in the booth should be able to answer basic questions and have a printed quick resource guide that will help them provide details they couldn’t easily memorize.
Absence of Press Kits
When I visit a booth with products that I think are interesting I will usually spend a few minutes testing it out onsite and then maybe asking a question or two. I like to find products to share with you and I usually can’t tell if a product is worth recommending by standing and fiddling with it for a few minutes, especially when strangers are bumping into me (more on that in another post). I like to read more information, read other reviews, digest, and so on.
So when I find a product that I think I may want to review or feature I usually ask for a press kit. Sometimes they’ll hand a piece of paper or a brochure, which aren’t exactly what I’m looking for. What I’d most like to see from vendors is a jump drive press kit or a business card with a QR code to the press kit. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and in fact the simpler the better, but it does not to be as paperless as possible.
Did you attend CES? What did you find most irritating?