It's no secret that the world of tech now bleeds through all other industries out there. From health to finance, advertising and marketing, there is an exciting piece of new technology that can either improve that industry, or change the game altogether. While there are a lot of tech round ups that can give you the best of new tech at CES every year, not as many lists are by Event and Marketing professionals. Which exhibits and booths gave us the best experience from a consumer who may or may not be in the world of tech? Which booths were able to showcase their brand most effectively? For the second year, the KCM staff trekked through as many exhibitions and elevator pitches as we can to bring you our favorites from CES 2018. (Check out last year's Top 10 Picks here!)
LG: A Return Favorite
Having been fortunate enough to attend CES last year, this year the “wow” factor was tempered a bit for me. Surprisingly, my favorite activation from both years was the same- LG. Though LG stunned attendees with their LG OLED TV Tunnel last year, I was excited to see that LG managed to outdo themselves with the LG OLED TV Canyon. A 90 ft. long tunnel filled with over 240 displays showcased the unique and confounding flexibility of the TVs. Larger than life scenes filled the screens, giving you an up close look and feel (thanks to Dolby Atmos Studio) of natural wonders from Antelope Canyon to the base of a waterfall. I can appreciate the decision to create the Canyon that encourages a continuous flow of traffic. You don’t have to wait to go in and there is thus no bottleneck at the booth. The Canyon is so large that it hides the rest of the LG booth from view so that as you exit, you are seamlessly introduced into the rest of the LG universe with more practical uses of their OLED TVs and other appliances on display.
While the Canyon was impressive, I think the experience of the Tunnel from 2017 was better. Although there was a wait to experience the Tunnel, you got to stand in one place for the entire “show”, which allowed attendees to really soak in and see the what the OLED TVs are all about. With the Canyon, it was a bit awkward to stay standing in one place as the flow of traffic urged you to keep moving. Move too quickly and you might just feel like you walked past static wallpaper, unable to see the potential of this technology. - Pei, Associate Events Producer
Turner: Engaging with the Sports Community
As a huge sports fan, I was greatly appreciate of the Turner Sports stage. CES gives brands the opportunity to engage with the tech community, and Turner Sports used the opportunity to give fans the chance to interact with their brand & products, namely their TV personalities and sports programs. A recurring theme throughout CES media panels was the growing and pervasive nature of brand engagements, requiring brands and marketers to be flexible and experiment to optimize their reach. I left CES a bigger fan of Turner Sports and Inside the NBA. Shout-out to Charles Barkley and Shaq for hopping on the Euro Body Shaker! - Steve, Events Director
Google: Impressive, Exciting, Educational
It was my first CES this year and was really impressed with all the latest technology that was present at the conference. I’ve come across many articles in the past where it would be describing products that “would be cool to have” or that would “make our lives easier” but being able to experience it firsthand was very exciting as well as educational. If I could describe CES in one word, I would have to say, “Google”.
Their build out and activations were so impressive, coming from an aesthetic and advertising standpoint. Google essentially built a playground where every inch of it was crafted and utilized so well for promoting their Google Assistant wherever they could. Being someone who does not use an intelligent personal assistant, the activations that Google featured had me exercise that all throughout their space. They demonstrated their assistant in so many creative ways that not only was fun to partake in, but also informative as to how we can use the Google assistant in our everyday lives. It ranged from implementing “Hey Google” in home appliances, to asking a robot to make a beverage, to inserting a life-size coin in a Google gumball machine requesting for a Google product. Overall, it will still take me some time to adjust to incorporating an intelligent assistant into a routine, but knowing that we have that option is still a remarkable step for the future. The experience at Google definitely sold me on it and I am one step closer! - Vivian, Event Production Assistant
Psychasec: Experiential Marketing Surprise
As it was my first CES, I found it difficult to pick a favorite. I loved the big and flashy build outs of Canon, Polaroid, Samsung, and LG. I also loved the small start-ups at Eureka Park and seeing all the new tech from different industries like health, home automation, robotics. It was all about the technology and products that are available now - and then there's Psychasec. Honestly, we found out about the booth through Twitter, and as avid Netflix binge-watchers, we can't just pass it up.
The company Psychasec isn't real, even though they have a booth at CES. It's actually a surprise promotion for Netflix's new show Altered Carbon, set to stream in February. The booth itself is a bit disturbing, with life-like "bodies" on display and in-character staff taking you in on a tour of their services. That is, Psychasec offers carbon bodies they call "sleeves" where you can download your conscious and upgrade your physical body. Their premise is tech enough and CES has enough weird new tech that I've actually seen some posts online not realizing that the booth is fake! In person, though, they let you watch the trailer for the show at the end of the tour, right after making you touch a body in a bag. - Klarisse, Senior Designer
Spotify at the C Space:
This year at CES, Spotify had their own interactive space located in the C Space at the Aria. As the largest ad-supported music streaming service in the world (140M+ active users, 60M+ subscribers, 30M+ songs, 2B+ playlists, and 60+ countries), Spotify decided to utilize their space and collected data points to construct two areas: “Culture happens here” and “Spotify for Brands.” The first half of the space had numerous digital displays of the highest streamed playlists: Rap Caviar, Viva Latino! and Time Capsule, along with a GIF photo booth and fun swag like branded button pins.
The second half of the space was a lounge comprised of their Ad Lab and Insights platforms. Ad Labs is created to help businesses drive brand impact by engaging ad formats with target audience, text, and photo options. Insights are displays on 50-inch LED screens with collected data points and allow guests to play around with the different insights of targeted audience. Some examples of such target audience include “Gamers” and “Early Tech Adopters”. Essentially, the more people stream on their platform, the more Spotify learns and is able to help brands reach the audiences that matter most in the right context. As a big advocate of collecting data and utilizing data to help create strategies that best procure marketing and sales campaigns, Spotify did at great job stressing the importance and power of data collection not only creatively, but also with simplicity. - Loretta, Account Manager