Already getting nostalgic at the start of 2015, I wrote a LinkedIn Pulse column describing the experience of attending
CES my first few years:
This was my ninth straight year attending CES representing a marketing agency. It was a strange
experience in earlier days. Clients weren’t there, unless consumer electronics brands happened to be
clients. I’d spend time hitting up side events of some digital pioneers I admired like Chris Heuer’s
Social Media Club and Jeff Pulver’s 140conf. I was the only person representing my agency, and most
places I went, I was the only person representing any agency….
Then, I got to the meat of the story, discussing the differences between Public CES (the one everyone talks about) and
Shadow CES (which is where most of marketers’ education and deal-making happen).
The other CES is the Shadow CES. This is the one that tends not to get as much attention, but for
some brands, it’s more productive. It happens at places like the Cosmopolitan or Four Seasons. A
more official version of the Shadow CES took place at the Aria this year. Dubbed the C-Space, it was
where marketers could meet up with established media companies like NBC Universal and emerging
ones like Samba TV. They could also meet with each other. I joined one private discussion with select
executives from an advertising trade association. While it had little to do with CES directly, it was a
terrific opportunity to learn from these people who I wouldn’t have readily met otherwise.