CES 2016
CES 2016 Preview: Examining The Expanded Influencers

The makeup of companies looking to strut their inner technological greatness at the annual CES gathering has changed. And not surprisingly, this new makeup is attracting a new crop of influencers. To understand what brands are doing at the massive tech gathering—and to examine the opportunity a new crop of influencers attracted to the show provides—the tech team at Ogilvy PR set out to understand who they are, and what they aim to get out of a trip to Las Vegas.  Here is what we found:

I’m a tech company too!

CES has become the debutante ball for any company wanting to unveil its inner technological greatness. Examining the makeup of CES 2015 exhibitors, the historically gadget-centric show has evolved and expanded to serve any company involved in the business of consumer lifestyle technology.  Even the governing body, has changed its name from the CEA to the CTA – Consumer Technology Association.  Large and small brands involved in automotive, biotech, health, wellness & fitness, smart home/appliances, and the enabling technologies like robotics, 3D printing and sensors that serve those industries – all flock to show how they will be influencing the future.

Biggest CES…EVER?

The impact and reach of the gathering has vastly expanded from just “electronics” to include:

  • Diverse companies spanning over 20 industries
  • Government representatives
  • Investment, financial and research firms
  • International educational institutions
  • Over 6000 media 78 countries

The Shifting Media and Influencers Landscape

Those that have attended CES over the years have come to expect thousands of media from dozens of countries. Market analysts also abound.

What’s interesting to examine is the new set of influencer groups. We interviewed a sampling of those to understand what they aimed to achieve in attending the show. Here’s what we learned.

  • The YouTube Stars. In interviews with over a dozen of these new influencers, we uncovered what motivates them around CES. It’s a win-win— they have the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge and report on the latest trends while building their own personal brands. Many are still bootstrapping their efforts and seek sponsorship from brands to fund their attendance at CES, though most are forthcoming about such arrangements.
  • The New Chief Innovation Officers. While it has become common for companies and associations to appoint an individual to lead innovation efforts, the job descriptions for the role are far from codified and consistent. So for many, CES gives them the opportunity to learn from how others are driving innovation as they chart their own courses to invigorate within their own organizations.
  • The International Media Brigade. The increased globalization of the show has brought increased complexities of language and content relevance for communications professionals.

There’s no doubt that business gets done at CES. At the core, CES brokers partners, purchasers and distributors. But it is undeniable that the event has also created one of the most important platforms for building brand exposure, engaging with expanded leagues of influencer sets, and providing a forum for companies previously not thought of as tech-forward to unveil their inner tech greatness.

Onward to Vegas!

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