Two Years Done, Two Years the Flu, Two Years Unbelievable
Hello, everyone. I hope you're doing well. I'm unbelievable as always. I'm finally back home safely (and recovered) from my recent trip to Las Vegas where I attended the annual International CES. Also known as the Consumer Electronics Show. This event is a showcase for all of the manufacturers of the world to share their forthcoming products of the year. Usually you'll see these cool new products as well as other conceptual products that push the envelope in innovation. Very big show. Lots of things to see. I'm able to attend this as I cover it for aNewDomain with a few colleagues of mine. I want to use this post to give you a recap of my experience this year from what I saw, didn't see, did, didn't do and so on. This will be a long form post. So bear with me.
So I prepped myself by getting plenty of vitamin C into my system the week before the trip. Why? Because as awesome as 'Vegas is, boy is it a petri dish of germs! My first beverage when I arrived in 'Vegas was orange juice. Trust me, I wanted to be aware of the flu. After getting myself squared away in my room, I had to rush to shower and get dressed for my very first Pepcom event. Pepcom is another showcase prior to CES officially starting which allows merchants to show off their products to the press. Like a sneak peak. It's held in a beautiful (and HUGE) ballroom. Lots of vendors, lots of media, lots of tech, lots of GREAT FOOD and booze. It was really awesome. It reminded me of the ShowStoppers event that I have to attend the next night. But I noticed a much larger media presence here. Even saw my tech news nerd crush Becky Worley. Funny story how this happened.
So as I got to this event, I was looking for some colleagues as we were going to cover it for aNewDomain in tandem, if you will. I couldn't find any of them. The place was so big and packed. I'm walking around the lobby area and towards the coat check looking for them. Then I see this woman approaching that looks like Miss Becky. I said to myself, "damn that's Becky Worley." Well at least I THOUGHT I said that to myself. The second that sentence flew out of my mouth, her eyes looked up at me with a peculiar, "I know you" look. She politely said hello looked at my press credential and then said "Annnt!!!" Yall, I damn near fainted. She hugged me. Said it was nice to finally meet in person. Asked me about my colleagues and mentioned her colleagues that I enjoy watching on podcasts. Yall, seriously, I was star struck. And I couldn't say much. I didn't even think to grab my camera to snap a pic of her and me. She laughed at me when I told her I was about to pass out. Then she grabbed her phone to take a pic of us. At that point, my week was DONE. I didn't care what else happened that week. Nothing could ruin this moment and experience. I'm shaking my head right now thinking about it. The evening continued to have so much "win" in it. I finally met face-to-face the Digital Jesuit, Father Robert Ballacer and also met up again with CNET writer Eric Mack. I eventually did check out some products and wrote a piece for your musing.
Tuesday brought the first official day of the event starting at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). But before going there, my man Mat Lee and I had to head over to a local mall to take photos of an HTC sponsored event as part of our assignment. This was interesting to see as HTC is marketing towards a younger demographic for the Re camera. It was pretty neat to see what was set up to promote the product and of course, Elvis was on hand to help out.
So we get to the LVCC after posting our photos to the editing team. This place is MASSIVE. There were approximately 160,000 attendees on site to go with the probably 4,000 exhibitors. The place is so big, there's no way to cover it in one day. My man Mat and I walked around taking photos, talking to vendors about car tech, phone tech, and whatever mindless tech we found interesting. All the big manufacturers were there, of course. The Intel booth had to be the more interesting one for me.
Tuesday night meant, getting things prepped for the live stream broadcast at ShowStoppers. Shout out to Steve Leon for getting us all hooked up with accommodations to do our show. Mat and I got the stage and cameras square and we began our chatter about CES as well as spoke with different vendors one on one. This went really well other than the guests refused to hold their mics up so the online audience could hear them clearly. Lesson learned, crank up the mic gains on the guest mic. That whole video can be found here.
Wednesday and Thursday detailed out to be more of the same where we briefly shot photos for the HTC sponsored event and then covered the LVCC and surrounding properties. More people were met. I laugh because it seems like every person I came across thought I was "big." I guess when you see my profile online, you never realize my height and weight. Or maybe the fact that I go by "Ant" throws them off. I don't know. Still funny to me.
Mat ditched me for most of Wednesday and Thursday. Which was all good. When he wasn't filming his own videos, he was out driving with the CEO of ScotteVest, Mr. Scott Jordan. Mat scored a sweet gig with Mr. Jordan and got some great coverage regarding his book and promotion with Polaris. Check out this video to see some of the things Mat got into. I'm very pumped up for Mat on the week he had. I'm hoping for nothing but more blessings and opportunities for the guy.
When I wasn't working, I was having local beers and hanging out in either the casino of Caesars Palace or Planet Hollywood. Planet Hollywood was an insane night! I met up with friend and mobile app creator Todd Moore. Go download his WhiteNoise app for better sleep. Trust me. It's really worth it. Anyway, he invited me down to the Planet Hollywood to meet some of his colleagues and hang out in the PENTHOUSE. Check out this view.
Bruh. The penthouse life is where it's at. That's all should probably say about that night. WOW. Some of those dudes are wild! Lol! Thanks, Todd for the invite!
I spent Thursday night in Caesar's with Mat and his girlfriend, BJ. We ate some outstanding food at the Old Homestead restaurant. I had the bone-in ribeye with truffle mac&cheese and a milk stout. #foodporn I later headed to the craps table and was officially purchased by the city Las Vegas. The city took my cash and smiled while doing it. But it was a lot of fun.
My journey back to NC was not so exciting. I became very ill. Plus, my flight was delayed due to snow in Salt Lake City. Which in turn forced me to lose my connection to CLT. So there was a frenzy in trying to find a flight home. I ended up flying to ATL while not feeling well. That was the longest four hour flight ever. We landed and I was spent. I don't remember too much, but I did end up collapsing in baggage claim and went to the local hospital. I had the flu. Dadgumit, two years in a row. I fortunately had a hotel provided by Delta and was able to fly out safely Saturday morning. There are other details of that mess I will share in person if you want to know. But either way, it was a challenge of my will and patience. I survived. Ha!
I did a brief video log of my trip. Feel free to check it out below and share with others. I want to thank aNewDomain and HTC for their sponsorship role in the trip. I want to thank all of, my readers, that support my content. I love yall so much. Thanks for providing opportunities like this for me and my family. For more pictures, check out my Instagram page.