CES as a way to meet potential employers?

I know very late in the game considering it’s already started, but…

Would it be worth paying (flights, accom, registration fee) to go to CES and use it as a way to meet potential employers?

I am very recently in a position where I could possibly make it work (including industry affiliation) to head to Vegas (from the West Coast), but I currently don’t have much to my name and need to (obviously) think through all financial decisions carefully.

From previous attendees experiences, would people there be willing to speak to an industrial designer about possible work/employment or is it very focused on pre-organized meetings etc?

I’ve been to IHS in Chicago and the National Hardware Show in Vegas representing design consultancies, but this time it would be me representing myself. From these other shows, I know it comes down to the right person being in the booth at the right time etc and in general getting out what I put in.

I’ve wanted to go for a few years to CES but want to make sure there would be the possibility of a return on investment and appreciate anyone’s thoughts on it.

Thanks in advance.

I have been going to tradeshows for decades fishing for new business. Good touchpoint for current clients, reminder you are still around. Better if an client moves from one company to another, you can soak up the new contracts. Cold calling is always a crap shoot.

Whether or not you get an roi from ces is a risk you have to measure.

I think s iab has said it is great for reconnecting with existing contacts. In my view not as good for cold calling, but maybe I’m just a bad cold caller :slight_smile:

Iab, Yo, I appreciate your replies.

I should rephrase what I’m after: I’d be looking for a full-time job rather than looking for clients.

But agree they are a goldmine for connections, old and new. I came back from those other shows with more business cards than I could hold.

To be amongst it all at CES would be an roi for me personally, but my gf who I live with might think otherwise…

Well, research and inspiration hold a lot of value. If you go you could document everything into a trend report, publish that on your portfolio site, and then send it to places you have applied as a followup… hey, I applied a couple of months ago, thought you might like to see my CES trend report… yada yada

So are you saying if a company didn’t offer you a full-time job but did offer you some freelance work you would refuse it?

Your approach is no different either way.

Trend reports.

There’s something I don’t miss.

If you’re looking for work in design I would think you’d be better off attending a regional or national IDSA conference where you can meet other designers including those who are looking for folks. Those venues usually have dedicated ID job boards as well for who’s looking to hire and who’s looking for employment as well as portfolio reviews.

Most trade shows have booths manned by marketing or product managers who are usually on very set schedules. There will be tons of designers walking around doing research, but you’d have to stumble upon them or hope to be at the right place at the right time.

If I was on a limited budget I can’t say that’s where I’d spend the money.

Really like that idea.

On a side note and (hopefully) not necessarily applicable to me, but curious: as a hiring manager, when someone comes back to you with something like this, whether a trend report or other document that shows interest and enthusiasm, but their portfolio hasn’t changed since last time (assuming you may have passed on them previously), would this change your opinion of their work? I know it depends on the original quality of their portfolio, seniority etc, but wondering if it happens?

Unfortunately in my case I need full-time employment for visa reasons.

But otherwise completely agree - if I could freelance, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

Definitely what I’m wary of, especially in my case leaving it so late to organize anything with anyone.

And good point, I need to check up on my IDSA chapter!

It wouldn’t change my mind, but it is a way to create another point of contact and would bring your name back up to the forefront. People get busy, and giving them something is usually a good way to broaden the conversation. It certainly would bump the enthusiasm and dedication points up so all other things being equal it would give you a leg up… that said there was a flood and power failure at CES today, so maybe don’t go today :slight_smile:

Good points to think about.

Haha yeah, I heard. A big bummer… Maybe LG had another live demo they didn’t want to do…