The International Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES, is every techie’s dream. Comic nerds have ComicCon, techies have this. But hey, even if you aren’t a techie, this particular Vegas convention still appeals to the masses. Who doesn’t want to peep the latest smartphone, smart this, smart that? CES also showcases the cars of the future. We’re predicting a Jetson’s style ride available to the public… if not this year, maybe next.
CES is from Wednesday, Jan. 6 – Friday Jan. 9 and it’s going to be mind blowing. The energy is unreal. If you’re new to CES, here’s the lowdown: It’s the year’s biggest consumer technology trade show. The leading tech companies, as well as start-ups, unveil the latest and greatest inventions and concepts. This includes everything from phones and computers to TVs and sleek electric cars (watch out, Tesla!). In addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center, CES will host events and keynote speakers at several properties. This includes Mandalay Bay, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Venetian, and Aria and Gold Spike.
Be prepared, this convention is expected to have a whopping 170,000 people. But no need for anxiety, y’all: Our tips will help you have the best CES experience ever. Also, this can apply to just about any convention, so keep our guide handy the next time you hit up Vegas.
Newbies, don’t fret. Technology can be super intimidating, we know. (Take it from the gal who still swears by her 8-bit Nintendo system and held on to her Razr when her friends already had iPhones.) But don’t let that scare you away. If you aren’t sure where to go, you can take a quiz to find out what kind of CES attendee you are before you go. You’ll have a handful of suggestions based on your answers.
Plan your itinerary, like now. With so many Vegas restaurant, show and nightclub choices, you want to be able to fit everything in (Read ’til the end for our top suggestions.). Set aside time you’ll actually be at CES events, then leave the rest to eat, chill and party. Another tip: Don’t try and rush to go to everything. Be selective so you’re not dashing from one place to another. It’ll be a busy few days, but you got this, baby!
Keep your phone and tablet charged. Hey, you’re at CES. This is the last place you’d want your electronics to die. While everyone is filming the latest innovation, you don’t want to be that guy who’s on 1 percent! Don’t rely solely charging stations; get one of those neat phone-charging cases to ensure you’re juiced up all day, every day.
Take a power nap. Just like your electronics, you need to recharge too. We know, we know. There’s just so much to see and do in Vegas. That’s the curse and the blessing of Sin City. But seriously, you’ll be walking around all day, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the latest gizmos and gadgets. Wrong time to be a zombie. Where you find time to take a snooze is up to you, but sneak it in there somewhere.
Leave the wheelies at home. Security at CES is tight. All luggage and any type of bag with wheels are strictly prohibited. You’re allowed two bags, so that should be enough to carry your essentials.
Prep your suitcase / purse / murse (man-purse) like a boss. Just because you’re allowed up to two bags, packing light is key. But in case you were out partying the night before and didn’t have time to go back to your room, it’s all good. Make sure you have Tylenol, an energy drink, breath mints and deodorant on deck.
But don’t forget your H2o. It may not be 100 degrees outside, but you gotta stay hydrated. All that tech talk will leave you thirsty, not to mention all the walking too. We will always tell you to drink more water, especially in Vegas — your body will thank you. Tip: If you’re watching one of the keynote speakers at Mandalay Bay, hit up the hotel lobby. Here you’ll find complimentary fruit-infused water. Ahhh!
Dress for success but be comfortable. You want to look spiffy, but you’re not at a nightclub. You’ll be doing a lot of walking around so ladies, ditch the heels. And fellas – feel free to dress dapper, but leave all the extras (like your gold chains and stunna shades) at the hotel. Save that for tonight.
Maps and directories are your best friends. You gotta be organized when you hit up conventions like this; wandering around aimlessly without a solid plan is a huge time sucker. You’ll want to see everything that interests you, so study where everything’s located so you can make the most of your trip.
Take advantage of the monorail. You and the monorail will be BFFs by the end of your trip. It beats hailing a cab (which typically have the worst lines ever) and even driving yourself around. Valet lines and getting out of parking garages could take a long time. Monorail, baby. It’s that simple. It stops at a handful of hotels on the east side of the Strip, as well as the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Hit up the parties. We saved the best for last. Our Vegas convention motto is all work, all play. So go out with your new friends and have a blast. These next few days will be crazy but don’t forget to have fun. Vegas encourages you to mix business with pleasure.
Check out these hot spots to enjoy during CES:
- Show your badge at PBR Rock Bar inside Miracle Mile shops and get 15 percent off your bill.
- So hot in here: On Thursday, Jan. 7 Foxtail nightclub inside SLS hosts at TiVo CES party featuring rap artist Nelly.
- All CES attendees get complimentary entry to Chateau nightclub inside Paris Las Vegas.
- Crush at MGM Grand will have a special prix fixe menu from Jan. 6 – 9 for $49 a person with courses like an Alaskan crab risotto and a beef filet served with sweet onions, fingerling potatoes and a blue cheese fondue. It comes with a salad and dessert.
- Hit up La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas. The special menu is priced at $59 a person. Highlights include bacon-wrapped dates with a blue cheese fondue and a sirloin steak with a creamy mushroom fondue.
- Cabo Wabo Cantina inside Planet Hollywood has all-day specials, including a tasty breakfast menu. A popular hit is the HBLT breakfast sandwich, which has ham, bacon, lettuce and tomato, topped with two fried eggs on thick brioche toast. Get your drink on with bottomless mimosas and Bellinis, priced at $24.99.