Between the hype for artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things and so on, it’s hard to imagine that, amid that storm of hype for new technologies, gaming has much of a presence at CES. In fact, games have been a presence for decades at the show, before the early years of E3 took away momentum from CES in the mid-nineties. Games are still a part of the show, but only one part of a much, much larger single mega-show. How large?
CES 2018 promises to be every bit the sprawl of a show as it’s predecessors, with “4,000 exhibitors across 2.6 million square feet”. That much square feet places CES right between the first and second largest malls in America, which is the King of Prussia Mall (2.9m ft2) and Mall of America (2.5m ft2) in size. That’s a lot of ground to cover, especially if games are your focus amid the thousands of exhibitors and hundreds of talks and dozens of parties.
Because Events for Gamers is about events for, well, gamers, we’re going to help narrow down the CES experience to make finding games-related companies, content and people easier to find.
At CES 2018
First of all, the easiest way to start to find game companies throughout the web of convention centers and hotels where CES is hosted is to stop by the official site. At the Gaming & Virtual Reality page, a list of forty-four exhibitors are shown, among them gaming hardware name brands, like Razer, Stern Pinball and Tobii. If you have at least an expo pass, these companies will be accessible during the expo period of the show, from January 9th to the 12th.
Away from the buzz of expo floor activity, there’s plenty of talks for folks who want insights in gaming among the range of content at CES. A good starting place is to search the extensive directory of conference tracks (and partner conferences) for topics taking on everything from virtual reality to eSports to mobile gaming. Talks and events can be narrowed down by topic, time, event, venue and more, which can be helpful for the hectic attendee, when working with a sprawling event and an often snug-as-can-be schedule.
Of course, it’s not CES if parties and other networking events are not thrown into the recipe. Las Vegas is a ready-made landscape for parties, for celebrating or promoting a brand or product. Luckily, for the attendee with a games focus, there’s a sprinkling of useful events in the mix.
The two most prominent CES party search lists are Karen Thomas’ CES party list and the CES Partylist. There’s some overlap between most events listed on these lists, because these are publicly known and posted events. Virtual reality and consumer electronics companies with a gaming stake are attending or presenting at some of these events, but keep in mind the event organizers may be limiting access by exclusive invitation or attendee type.
Wrapping it up
Lastly, it’s wise to plan ahead to adventure through CES in one piece with what you’re looking for. A lot of sites and blog posts share tips for how to go about doing just that. As a starting point, check out Enventys Partners quick but useful list.
Best of luck making the most of CES, game industry and game-playing folks!