CES Irritations from a Female Press Attendee

imageThis 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?

Comments

  1. says

    Yikes! Well, sounds like a good learning experience at least, Brittney. You are very clear on how you want to show up and the way that you professionally represent yourself. Your comments about booth babes had me laughing out loud, literally. Keep on with what you’re good at and passionate about. You’re doing great work! What did you enjoy about the conference?

  2. Tish Trotter says

    I appreciated the knowledgeable reps & press kit packages. About 80% of the booths I stopped by didn’t have press kits and/or someone who knew what the heck was going on.

  3. The Nerdy Nurse says

    Tish Trotter I had the same experience. Had much better results at The parties and less events. The Social Radius Event, Pepcom Digital Experience, and Showstoppers. If you go next year you need to make sure you try to get on all those guests lists.

  4. sophieflores66 says

    I agree with everything you said! As a first-timer to CES for both press and as a home health care industry affiliate, I was disappointed that first timers weren’t given extra info or a better map based on their distinction. It was a great event and I’m already prepping for next year, but I hope that there are more exhibitors that are knowledgable on the product they are representing. Another thing I would have appreciated would have been an option to sign up for mailing lists or even become testers for certain products.

  5. says

    Ha!  I also attended #CES14 as female press and agree with your comments completely, particularly the paucity of women attendees and the booth babes.  I went to the Qardio booth and was astonished that the “babe” who came over to answer my questions was completely clueless about the product – even something basic like “So what  are the advantages of the Qardio BP monitor compared to Omron’s monitors?”  One humorous aspect of the “all guys” thing though was coming out of a line-free ladies room and seeing the guys’ line out the door!

  6. says

    sophieflores66 You should be able to contact the vendors directly. If you west as press you can contact the CES coordinators to get pr contact information for all the of the exhibitors. :)

  7. says

    docweighsin I did remember pausing and thinking how interesting is was to have no line at the ladies room with the guys winding around the corner. :)
    I too visited Qardo was was really excited to see their product only to be greeted by a booth babe who knew very little about it and did little to get me interested in covering it. Their social media team seem to do a good job. They should probably bring those people to work the booth.

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