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Stay on Mission at Eureka Park


I’ve been asked the same question, from startup entrepreneurs heading to the show for the first time to Fortune 500 execs looking to get the most out of their visit to Eureka Park.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already booked your trip to Las Vegas for CES 2017. You’re probably also gearing up to tour one of the largest startup marketplaces on Earth, Eureka Park. I’ve been asked the same question, from startup entrepreneurs heading to the show for the first time to Fortune 500 execs looking to get the most out of their visit to Eureka Park. Everyone wants to know the best strategy to maximize their experience.

Well, here’s how to cut and focus.

Make a Goal

Unlike CES Marketplaces dedicated to a specific tech niche, Eureka Park is going to hit you with anything and everything. You need a mission for your visit. If you’re a top-level exec and your goal is simply to check things out at the Marketplace, you’d probably be better off staying in your booth, meeting with your customers and closing deals. If you’re looking to get something more out of your visit, ask yourself why you’re going, identify a larger theme and then pick a specific measurable goal.

Keep in mind that you already have a zillion engineers working on all sorts of cool things. You have a team of overpaid consultants telling you where your specific industry is going. Maybe you should pick a larger goal of personal inspiration. Why not use the floor to get excited about something that brings the energy of Eureka Park back to your staff ’s next “all-hands” meeting?

Build a Strategy

Bring back a story that makes an impact by talking to five entrepreneurs. Ask why they decided to go all-in. Pick a company that’s doing something you’re interested in and bring that passion back to your own business. If you can get yourself excited about why you’ve set this goal, you can tell your admin that Eureka Park is blocked-out time. If you stay on mission, the energy you’ll bring back is more important than the technologies you’ll discover.

If you’re a startup exhibitor and a CES first-timer, get ready for absolute mayhem. You’re going to lose your voice, your feet are going to hurt and you’re probably going to realize that your technology isn’t that unique. It’s a humbling experience. Some of you have a product that’s ready for launch, but most of you are doing the VC dog-and-pony show. It’s very easy to show up at CES, have 20–30 great meetings and end up back where you started when you get home. It’s important to realize that while opportunity exists, you must make a plan and work to execute it.

Walk the Floor

Unlike niche conferences for your specific industry, CES provides a unique opportunity to see how other entrepreneurs in non-competitive categories are marketing their business and addressing problems. Use the show to get inspired for your 2018 launch plan. I’ve spent too many shows planted in my booth or roaming my section only to wish I had more time to “see the show.”

Unless you are there to sell to retail buyers, odds are you’re thinking more about setting up business meetings than getting ideas and inspiration for your company’s future. Block out two hours a day for your team to walk the floor looking for authenticity. Take photos and videos of booth demos, the best logos and things that just ooze awesomeness to you. Take these back to your team and after the show, figure out exactly what you liked about them. Map out a strategy for duplicating that level of authenticity with your brand and your products.

It’s true: You have to be big to look big, but projecting authenticity is easier when you’re small. Finding authenticity is one of the many hidden gems at CES that startups rarely realize.

Jake Sigal is the chief executive owl at Tome Software. You can find Jake in Eureka Park and online at tomesoftware.com.

Jake Sigal, CEO, Tome Software

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