I recently attended both the AT&T Developer Summit at the Palms Hotel and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Both shows were free to attend if you had found the free codes online months in advance.
This is my second year attending the Developer Summit. Last year they also held a Hackathon at the same time. I’m told the Hackathon will be back in 2018. This year they had a small expo floor with various booths and some VR/AR demos. The best thing this year was the swag, free food and free parties and some more swag.
I get a nice Ogio backpack at check in, plus a colored wristband. Later that night was the opening party. During that time the wristband colors were randomly called wand then attendees could come to collect their swag. Last year attendees got to choose one higher end option such as a Samsung Gear S2 watch, and then another item such as a backpack or smaller device. This year the choice was determined by a wheel, where your color wristband either got a tablet or bluetooth speakers. ther items were also given out at random times throughout the summit.
The next day CES began at the Las Vegas Convention center, overflowing into multiple other casinos and the Sands convention center. This convention is so huge, with so much to see and do that it can be daunting, but it is well worth it. I had a great time checking out all of the new technology, plus once again I walked away with so much swag, it really was crazy. The highlight for me was winning a raffle at the Tiffen booth for a Fujifilm XT-10 DSLR with Domke bag and accessories.
I managed to get into the Fox sponsored private viewing of the Cirque du Soleil O show at the Bellagio. I sat in the front row with some friends, and had an amazing experience. There are literally so many free concerts and parties that you have to make a list and then pick where to go.
On the show floor you also have many celebrity signings, live podcasts and giveaways on the hour.
CES is a 4 day convention and you will need all 4 days to see everything.
My favorite booth amidst all this great new technology was surprisingly the American Greeting Card booth! I spent an hour a day here, where all greeting cards were free, some exclusive to CES. Greeting card artists were on hand to show you their artwork and how they design the cards. Other artists were writing cards for you, like works of art. Plus American Greetings would then mail the card for free anywhere in the world.
There are some lines for VR demos or swag wheel spins, but the longest wait is around 20-30 minutes. If you want to do or see something, there’s no camping out, no waiting hours in line, and for me that is a big plus.
I’ll be going to CES again next year, and I hope some of you can join me. Just keep your hands off of my swag!