i3 | January 05, 2021

Rock Digital CES like a 'Baus'

Jake Sigal

CES is more than a trade show. It’s the time of year to reset your tech focus with clients, friends and, ideally, new business contacts. Make a plan and execute it. Define what success looks like and go after it.

Start by Making Lists

There won’t be random collisions in January in Las Vegas this year, so you need to prepare a good list of people you want to connect with at the all-digital CES 2021. I’m making three lists: previous clients, new business (people and companies that could lead directly or indirectly to new business within the first 90 days of 2021), and my industry friends.

It’s pretty common for existing clients to check in with a specific ask related to their goals and objectives for the first quarter or two. Hopefully, they have a problem that you can help solve.

For new business, it will be harder since we can’t wander into a booth or sit down during happy hour and start “working.” Virtual introductions and handshakes can be awkward so do your homework. I’m taking my list and force ranking the top 20%. I’ll then put 80% of my effort into researching those contacts and reaching out to them with a warm intro from my network to generate new business.

For friends, review your LinkedIn contacts (yes, all of them). Use LinkedIn as your pool, so you don’t miss anyone.

Make Yourself Easy to Meet

Now that you have organized your lists, make it easy for others to book meetings with you. For existing clients, use your usual route of booking CES meetings. For new business, reach out by email or LinkedIn. If you have a connection, I’d recommend using a concise and straightforward introduction request.

Fellow CTA Board member Ty Ahmad-Taylor shared a cool way to ask for intros. Check it out online.

I use Calendly to book meetings and to create calendar access but there are many booking tools. Just remember that some people may find these impersonal. When working with a contact’s executive assistant, I’ll share my calendar link and ask him or her to use it only to view my availability, but not to book through the link. I’ve found having the meeting invite come from the client’s calendar increases the probability the meeting actually happens.

Be Prepared

I’ll use the same meeting prep process this year that I have in the past. I’ll do my research, then I will compile background information for my contacts before the meeting. I also write down a few key questions that sometimes I share in advance.

If you have business partners or other key people in your organization, make sure you aren’t unintentionally duplicating meeting efforts.

For friends, I search online for news updates and check their LinkedIn feed and other social media for posts. I also like to check their websites to see what’s new.


It’s business as usual when it’s time to meet. Make your list in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool or spreadsheet. Keep tabs on booking your appointments. I’m also going to have some physical and digital props, so when people ask what’s new, I can share what I am working on with them.

Be You

CES is my favorite show and my favorite time of the year. I launched and built my companies at CES. Be yourself. For inspiration, I’m going to be upping my video background game for CES. I’m putting my CES badges (and my three feet of badge flair!) in my backdrop. Have a great show!

Check out CES.tech to organize your schedule for the show.

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