Inside CES – Part 1/4: To go or not to go that is the question

Inside CES – Part 1/4: To go or not to go that is the question

[ Version française ]

More than a month ago, we were returning from the CES (Consumer Electronic Show), the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world and the benchmark for global innovation in the field.
As a reminder, CES in a few figures is:
4 days of salon in Las Vegas
240,000 m² of stands
3,900 exhibitors including 365 French representatives
184,279 visitors from around the world (158 countries represented)

Now that we have caught our breath, it is time to return to this intense 5-day sprint.

This post is part of a series of 4.
In each of them we return to a particular aspect of our journey:

1- the question of participating or not, « CES – To go or not to go that is the question  »
2- the benefits and what we got out of it, « CES – Impact Business »
3- A focus on our American friends and their discovery of Caveasy, « CES – Caveasy in America »
4- Some practical considerations, « CES – Tips & Tricks ».
Do not hesitate to comment to tell us if you share our points of view and share your questions and / or remarks.

To go or not to go that is the question

Passed the seductive idea pushed by all the dream merchants, of the absolute madness that can represent for a hardware startup to be present at the biggest gathering of the world dedicated to the innovation, the participation in the CES was not obvious right now.
Participating in a salon is good, knowing why we go is better!

A certain number of points deserved to be looked at more closely.

First of all, would we be in adequacy with the visitors?
At that time, we had not yet confronted our solution to an audience other than the one that was within our direct reach: the French audience. Would we be able to interest the different nationalities that would pass close to our product? Whether it is the press or other visitors. Could we succeed to interest an audience other than French in the middle of the cacophony of CES, with a subject like ours: at the crossroads Tech and Wine?

Then what business opportunities could we trigger during the show and at the events before and after our days at Eureka Park?
Would it be possible to meet people on the spot with whom to really work afterwards in all aspects: distribution, manufacturing, development or financing. Foreign as well as French people, because we knew the paradox of CES: it is sometimes easier to meet French people in Las Vegas than in France.

Beyond these aspects, we had to ask ourselves whether participation in CES was consistent with the story we were building … and telling. This could have some logic since at the time we were preparing our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. But was it a consistent step in our company’s development strategy? Was it not too early to expose oneself to the international, which is more about the biggest and most publicized event of the year?

It seemed to us, at the stage where we were, that our participation could serve two purposes: to gain notoriety and to be able to test the interest of a wider audience than we had met at fairs and events in France.
After having discussed with other startups who have already made the trip, long shot the subject in all directions and weighed the pros and the cons, we made the bet of CES.

The machine was launched, we would participate in CES 2018!