It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
No, I’m not talking about the holidays (although those are ok too.) I mean only the BEST week of the entire year, my reason for living, one of the best things about Las Vegas – the Consumer Electronics Show.
OMG OMG OMG. It’s so awesome.
Just look at this if you don’t believe me:
That’s Paro, who is possibly my favorite invention on this entire planet. I simply love living in a world where a robotic baby harp seal therapy robot exists.
Anyway, every year, CES is where major companies come to announce their new products relating to tech, and as the world has become more tech-centric, it basically means that every company on the planet comes there to announce something.
Over the past few years, I’ve watched this show expand from its more humble COMDEX roots to take over pretty much all of Las Vegas (including its suites, restaurants, and nightclubs) for an entire week, with such an array of awesomeness that I can’t imagine being anywhere else the first week in January.
Here’s a sneak peak of CES 2017:
There are a ton of VR devices already on the market, but content for them has been lacking. Expect more “augmented” experiences (heads up displays), entry-level VR tech as well as a plethora of content that are all geared to helping entrepreneurs save time by immersing yourself in a virtual world (rather than have to actually go outside and do stuff.)
I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of new compatible stuff for the super comfy Google Daydream.
Just like last year, CES is all about the self-driving cars. Expect entries from BMW, Faraday, Hyundai and others all vying to get your hard-earned dollars and while giving you some precious minutes back into your work day.
Frankly, I don’t need my car to actually drive for me – if it can just take care of finding a parking spot on its own, I’ll be in heaven.
There are tons of rumors circulating about the phones we’re going to see, with LG, Samsung and Huawei all expected to come out with some sort of “foldable” phone, giving you a smaller profile to fit those skinny jeans.
I’m honestly a bit “meh” about this. I had a phone that folded on itself 20 years ago, so these would have to be something special to make me interested.
Under Armour, Fitbit, Samsung and others are expected to have a lot of interesting things on the table this year. This is the geek mother lode category – any part of your body that you want data about can and will be tracked.
This is one of my favorite categories every year because it is so broad and creative. There’s a company with designer IoT gowns, as well as some truly beautiful reasons to start wearing a watch again that don’t rhyme with “Mapple”.
Really, there are so many categories and things and all around “stuff” at CES that whatever your interests, you will find it here. The busy entrepreneur will definitely want to stop over at the smart kitchen area, to see how quickly and easily your meal prep will be thanks to innovative companies like Drop.
And, when you happen to get overwhelmed, there’s always a little Japanese baby harp seal that just adores being petted… just don’t be surprised if you have to fight me off him!
When Angelina Lawton ran communications for the Tampa Bay Lightning, she could never understand how a company with such an exciting product–professional hockey, for goodness sake–managed to be so dull when it came time to pitch potential sponsors.
Her frustration spurred her to start a boutique agency, Sportsdigita, whichspecializesin making flashy presentations for pro sports sales departments–“a movie-trailer for franchises” is how she describes them. Nine years later, executives at more than450 teams, stadiums, and arenas haveused her multimedia slideshows, called Digidecks, to sell everything from merchandise licenses to luxury suites, she says.
But now the pandemic haspostponed professionalsports seasons, and widespread protestshaveLawton’s bread-and-butter clients–the sales groups–lying low. To keep revenue growing and her company afloat,Lawton ispivoting to target customers in new fields from financial services to health care.
Work-at-home sales teams at all kinds of businesses must now figure out how to close deals from afar–and they can use all the help they can get.
“Covid-19 has opened up people’s eyes to remote selling and collaborating,” says Lawton. “Our product is perfect for that.”
When Lawton first started marketing souped-up sales decks to sports and events companies, the multimedia opportunitieswere obvious.Looking to sell advertising rights to the billboards in the outfield? Show a star centerfielder leaping for a catch in front of them. Marketing the luxury suites for your arena? Play clips of the games, concerts, and monster truck rallies that clients will be able to see up-close from the box.
In 2016, she decided to focus on the hard part, the software–andbegan selling it as a service sosalespeople could produce the digidecks in-house. The move put her into direct competition with legacy competitors like Microsoft PowerPoint, as well as subscription-based online software, such asPrezi. Even so, since pivoting to this software-as-a-service model, Sportsdigita revenue has grown over 200 percent, to $4 million in 2018, which putthe company at No. 1,993 on last year’sInc. 5000 ranking of fastest-growing private U.S. businesses. It ranked at No. 146 on this year’s Inc. 5000 series Midwest list. Today, 80 percent of the company’s revenue comes from software subscriptions, and the rest fromservices. Clients include the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Now, with sporting events on hold and tensions high from weeks of protests, high-profile sports teams don’t want to be seen as tone-deaf amid the unrest. Like entrepreneurs across the world, Lawton was forced to rethinkbasic assumptions about her company and customers.
Her company has already made some early scores: insurerMutual of America, Cargill, the giant food conglomerate, and Jostens, the seller of high school yearbooks and class rings, have signed on as clients. They haveexisting libraries of media–salespeople can populate the decks with pre-loaded photo and video options from their ownexisting ads, and then present them in tandem with Zoom calls or other videoconferencing software.
Next, Sportsdigita is planning to add videoconferencing to Digideckas well, requiring new kinds of software expertise and putting the company up against the likes of Zoom.
For Sportsdigita, the new revenue has offset the slump in sports, andLawton says the company is once again on track with its pre-Covid growth targets.And her new clients? Their presentations may lack the same jaw-dropping action of their pro sports counterparts–but their infographics and bullet points are leaping off the screen like all-stars.
Want to keep up to date with all the latest news and events?