Despite many large trade shows being canceled for the rest of the year due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this gives your company the time to strategize how to make the most of next year’s trade shows, such as CES 2021. We will share the insider view from our experiences promoting Korean companies at CES to the U.S. market and globally for the past several years. It’s a hard job: in 2020, The Consumer Electronics Show welcomed about 175,000 attendees and over 4,400 exhibitors, with over 350 being from South Korea.
Start with the objective: why are you going to CES? Are you planning a launch, a new market entry, or hope for a boost in awareness? Looking for distributors, qualified leads, partners? Your decision to go and the strategy of how to maximize the ROI will differ based on your main goal.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Of CES
Let’s face it, not every trade show will be suitable for HealthTech. There is no guaranteed success at a conference. What insight will help you when considering CES for 2021?
The Good. It is always great to see LG and Samsung, two leaders in consumer electronics from Korea being recognized for their innovative, prominent, and successful products and for generating both traffic and media coverage. This year’s Korean HealthTech was prominently presented with a number of great products with about 40% of Korean brands coming from HealthTech. Several South Korean products received Innovation Award Honors, including Charmcare, Olive Health, DSGlobal, Rice Ear, and Motion Pillow. It is proof that Digital Transformation (applying technology in solving traditional problems) and customer-centricity (best experience for the customer) is taking over a traditional industry like healthcare.
The Bad. Korean exhibitors face common challenges of overcrowded spaces: it’s noisy and hard to navigate. Located in three different expo centers around the city, it is physically hard to conduct market research and competitive benchmarking and to make deep connections with the right people.
The Ugly. TV and online coverage show CES as a glamorous event. The truth is the chance to meet your goals—be it awareness, media coverage, lead generation, or distributor/partner contracts is very small without extensive pre-show preparation.
We see it again and again—Korean manufacturers with very innovative products stand in their expensive booths, watching massive waves of traffic walk by. There are smarter ways to maximize your ROI at CES!
Succeeding at CES is impossible without significant investment to make an impactful appearance in front of an overstimulated audience, massive push for awareness, and scheduling meetings with key influencers, buyers, and distributors prior to the show. Proper preparation is at least a six-month, multi-channel campaign that includes tactics like PR, AR, thought leadership, speaking ops, etc.
It’s likely everyone you need is there—you just need to help them find you ahead of the event.