Monday, January 14, 2008

My Latest Business Trip

So I just got back from Las Vegas. I went there to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for work. Getting to CES proved to be just as challenging as getting around CES. I suppose when you have snowstorms on the West coast, and 140,000 people zeroing in on Las Vegas, one should expect some challenges. So my trip to Vegas started on a Sunday afternoon with a 3 hour flight delay. On my first leg of the flight, I had the pleasure of sitting in front of an adorable 4 year-old who thought it would be super fun to kick my seat the whole way to Denver. Then, on the second half of my journey, I firmly believe the woman in my row swallowed a hairball. At least it sounded like she did. It brought back memories of when I had a cat. But this lady couldn’t seem to cough up her hairball. But I have to give her an “A” for effort. She worked on it for the entire two hours of the flight.

Once I actually got to Vegas, I should have realized when I stood by the baggage claim for almost an hour that my luggage wasn’t going to magically appear. Sure enough, my luggage had not made the connection and would be delivered to my hotel room at some point in the middle of the night…hopefully! So, off I went to hop in a taxi. It was close to 11:00 (well past my normal bedtime) and I was anxious to get to the hotel. My hopes were dashed as I saw the line. It appeared I was the 3,000,000th person waiting for a taxi. An hour later, I finally made it to the front of the line, got into a cab, and headed off to my hotel.

I spent the next three days in a number of conference sessions about the "goings on" in the Media and Entertainment industry. Some sessions were more interesting than others but I did have one of my more embarrassing moments at one point. As one of the sessions I attended ended, I stepped out for a break. As I was leaving my seat walking towards the exit, I was checking my email on my blackberry not totally paying attention to where I was headed. I thought I had everything under control as I walked through the exit into the hallway... oh, wait... I didn't walk through the exit doors. I walked through the closet doors and into the supply closet at the back of the room. As I stood in the closet for a moment, I realized, there wasn't going to be any graceful way to pull this off. So, I turned back around to walk out of the closet and started laughing and said to the first guy who made eye contact with me, "oh, I thought that was the exit!". To which he replied, "Yes. I did the same thing myself.". How sweet! I thought to myself. He's such a liar! It is one of the few times in my life where I found it refreshing to have someone lie to me.

On my last day in Vegas, I made my way through the various exhibition floors at the CES show. Here are my general observations and comments.

The general theme of the sessions and the floor was "Give the consumers what they want". As a consumer myself, that sounds great to me although, I'm not sure how many consumers actually want a digital necklace shaped like a heart that holds 40 1-inch photos. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing that but I suppose for every pot, there is a lid.

As I walked through the expo floor, I noticed the following:

-Media players
-More media players
-People walk way too slow!
-Bigger televisions
-Movie theater seats that are rigged up to the sound in your home theater and move along with the movie (a la IMAX). Note to self to check on how much those cost.
-The biggest television ever (150" Panasonic plasma)
-Girls in nursing outfits
-More Phones
-Holders for your phones
-Tiny Televisions
-Whoa, back up a second... girls in nursing outfits? Apparently in addition to consumers wanting electronics, they also want the "booth babes". I thought that was soooo 2007. I can't believe that tradition still lives on, and I can't believe that at a business event like CES, they would have women dressed as nurses and in half shirts but apparently, I don't have a keen grasp on what actually sells.
And, such is life at the CES show!

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