Should Microsoft back out of CES 2011?
Yeah, this may sound crazy, but maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to follow Apple’s lead of dropping huge industry events for more focused ones–at least in terms of an official, booth capacity. You can always send people along, have private or even public hotel suites with the latest products and best of all think of all the time and money you can save? Better yet, think of how value-focused Microsoft could be by not renting lavish booths at CES.
Want bloggers and journalists to attend a product launch? Invite them to a rented venue somewhere. Bet it would be a lot cheaper than CES. And you wouldn’t necessarily have to ship everyone and tons of stuff to Vegas for a week of tech gambling.
The more I think about it, the more it seems that CES is best left to the hardware folks selling to buyers and press/bloggers. There are plenty of other places to spread the OS words. (OK, maybe X-box, Zune fit at CES, but I’m not so sure it’s cost effective.)
Go to Mix. Go to TechED. Run PDC. Run your hardware events. Have product launches and analyst events and do all the rest as you have. These are your events. Your partners. Your products. Your value.
CES is….well, a big questionmark.
You can get to the press/bloggers anytime. Want to make OS deals with partners? Send the OEM folks rather than people and product to fill booths that cost too much. Or if you really need to nurture the ecosystem at CES give them money to be public and you save your nickle in the back room.
Point is, I think Steve Jobs has it right. These big generic industry events need to be questioned. In today’s age of live internet feeds exactly why are we shipping everyone to one city where the wifi is non-existent or costs an arm and a leg or everyone fights for tower access. It’s almost like everyone becomes disconnected from the Internet–unless they pay through the nose for access. That shouldn’t be.
Give more local events. Leverage live feeds. Follow James Cameron’s creativity and provide 3D feeds. That would be noteworthy.
Anyway, think about breaking your CES booth plans for next year. Save some money and aggravation and next time really enjoy your hollidays 🙂