If you’re planning to run a crowdfunding campaign in 2016, we strongly believe you need to attend CES in just a few weeks. Already registered? Great! Now’s the time to start getting ready so you can use your time in Las Vegas to its fullest potential. If you properly leverage your time at CES and secure press coverage, you’re well on your way to a successful campaign. In fact, getting press coverage at CES can help drive traffic to your crowdfunding page once it goes live, thus increasing funding.

CES prep can be broken into two parts: compiling assets and standardizing messaging, and PR outreach before and during the event.

Standardizing Your Message and Creating Outreach Materials

CES is likely your first opportunity to really put your company or product out there – so make sure you’re ready. Begin by getting your messaging in order. Determine how you’re positioning your business or product including the key benefits, the features you’re highlighting and your target audience. Then, you can begin creating all the documents and materials you’ll need for outreach.

First and foremost, you’ll want a digital media kit. You’ll meet many journalists at CES, and you’ll want to make sure you can give them any information they need or ask for. Your media kit should include product specs and information, company information, images, logos, contact information – essentially anything a journalist could need to cover your product.

Additionally, compile a one-page handout that includes the most pertinent information from the media kit – product info, images, and contact information. Make sure this handout also includes the URL for the media kit, so journalists can find other information they may need!

It’s also important to have your landing page ready to go before you even land in Vegas. This is how you’ll collect contact information from anyone interested in your product. If you start collecting leads now, you’ll have a head start when you buckle down and start preparing more for your campaign.

Beginning Journalist Outreach

Prior to CES, you’ll want to start reaching out to journalists who will be there. If you’ll have a booth, you can log into your exhibitor dashboard and download a list of all journalists attending the event. As you’re sorting through this list, try to find journalists from the top outlets that cover your niche. If they’re already interested in the specific industry your product falls into (not just “tech”), you’re more likely to make a connection with them and hopefully secure coverage. As you create this media list, reference your target audience and try to find journalists who write for outlets geared towards those people.

Once you have a solid media list in hand, you can begin reaching out to journalists on Twitter and pitching your product via email. Make sure you’re monitoring the CES hashtag (#CES2016) before and during the event – this is a great way to identify journalists!

CES offers multiple ways to interact with journalists, so consider paid opportunities, such as CES Unveiled Las Vegas, and unpaid opportunities such as signing up to be considered for CESTV. As you’re interacting with journalists, remember to be friendly and engaging. Look for opportunities to show off your product by hosting demos or giving away free gifts. At the same time, don’t spend all your time at your booth or exhibit – walk around, check out other booths and exhibits and set up meetings with journalists or other creators.

By adequately preparing yourself for CES, you’re setting yourself up for a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2016. For more CES tips, or to set up a meeting with us during the event, get in touch!