My yearly trip to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) starts this week, January 6 – January 9, in Las Vegas. As I started to pack up my clothes and other essentials, it got me thinking about how I prepare myself for attending CES and other conventions.
So this is my Surviving CES Survival Guide (or for other conventions). There are quite a few must have items that everyone needs if you are attending a convention like this one. Aside from the basic necessities, like clothing and toiletries, here is what you need. This is what normally works for me and you may have to alter a few things to make it work for yourself.
Must Haves – Surviving CES Survival Guide
• Laptop or portable equivalent. What I use is my old PowerBook. Yes, it is ancient (and I admit that I really need to get a new one) but I only need to use a couple of programs on it like Photoshop, Word and a web browser for photos, writing and uploading.
• iPad or tablet equivalent. Use as a back up for taking quick pics and comes in handy to use to check email, take notes or play a quick game in the room.
• iPhone or mobile equivalent. Really need this for social media purposes, pictures, email and messaging. Also good for getting a hold of your contacts and keeping in tabs on travel companions attending with you.
• Portable Battery. I normally carry one, or two, of the higher capacity ones when I am on the show floor. If you are using a couple of mobile devices throughout the day, these battery packs can keep you moving. I also have the smaller capacity portable battery pack that I carry with me all the time. If you do not have one of these do not worry, there are quite a few charging stations around CES to use.
• Portable Hot Spot Device. This device comes in handy when you need to connect to the web when service is unavailable for your computer. Unfortunately the device I used to use no longer functions, so now I need to upgrade that.
• Camera. Pretty much any camera will do, even a compact size point-and-shoot one. I use my Canon Rebel EOS T3, which I take to all the events I go to. I may have to invest in a newer camera, since they are getting better features. One that has the ability to upload to social media on the fly. I also bring one extra camera battery as a back up.
• Flash Drive. I have 5 or 6 of these. Most of them are 16 GB, couple are 8 GB and at least one is a 32 GB. Use them to temporarily store files or transport from one computer to another. I have a back up 16 GB flash card in case something happens to the one I use in the camera.
• Flash Card Reader. Use one of these to transfer the pictures off the flash card and on to my computer for retouching and resizing.
• Portable External Hard Drive. The one I bring with me is 1 TB. I have two 4 TB ones, but they are a bit too big to travel with. I store all my original pictures on them.
• Power Strip or Multiple Wall Outlet. Helps to have multiple outlets to help charge all your devices when the room has a limited number of outlets.
• Business Cards. Need these to hand out to people you meet at these shows. I bring the entire box to refill my card holder the every night.
• Backpack, Messenger Bag or Equivalent. A small backpack or bag is perfect for carrying mobile devices, battery packs, camera, business cards and other stuff you pick up along the way. CES used to give a free backpack to all the press attending the show, but this year that changed with new bag restrictions due to the terrorist events that have happened recently. This year they gave out a small nylon mesh-type of bag.
• Hand Sanitizer. Since you will be coming in contact with many people and objects, this will help kill any germs you may come in contact with. If you don’t have any, some booths give out small bottles of these as freebies.
• Water, Snacks and Mints. At least one bottle of water to stay hydrated, a couple of granola bars or candy to keep the energy level up and mints to keep your breath fresh. You may find a couple of booths with free refreshments and snacks provided by the exhibitor.
Emergen-C or Airbourne. Some added defense against catching a cold while at the show.
Basically that’s it. I hope some of this helps you get ready for your next big convention or event. My 2016 CES adventure begins this week, so look for some coverage on the coolest tech gadgets from the show right here.