Two ad agency executives said sponsorship packages could cost up to $ 80,000, depending on the level of engagement, and that the price seemed high. “The CTA offers sponsorship opportunities with different costs,” said one of the executives on condition of anonymity. “This includes the placement of the logo on the website through to the sessions on the main stage. The top-tier package they offered is quite expensive at around $ 80,000. “
When asked about pricing, another manager at the agency, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Oh yeah, and they said, ‘Guys, we’re all trying to do this job and we’re going to make the best event that ever existed. In fact, we’ll have a better opportunity to have a captive audience. ‘I would agree with that, if you do it online you tend to get more attention from people. However, when you do this online, the people who sign up are not who you are looking for. “
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the events industry hard, shutting down SXSW shortly before it opened in March. Cannes and the NewFronts both went virtual this year. The pandemic has forced companies to rethink their priorities and see if these industry confabs are still worth the price of entry if it’s just an online affair. It has done real damage to the cities that thrive through their annual gatherings like Austin with SXSW and Las Vegas with CES.
CES was barely able to evade the coronavirus shutdown with its show this year and received its event three months before the lockdowns occurred. In April, the CTA started planning for 2021 and was hoping to offer a hybrid event, partly online, partly in person. However, given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, this has not been possible and many of the companies that are typically involved are still stuck in remote workplaces.
According to Foster, CES offers companies such as tech startups looking for a place in the digital product range at a reasonable price from $ 1,200, which saves money without the additional travel expenses. With 1,000 exhibitors, the CES would be cut back compared to the typical year in which, according to Foster, around 4,500 companies populate the stands of the convention center.
CES continues to work closely with MediaLink, owned by Ascential and directed by Michael Kassan, who also helps organize the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Kassan is a CES ambassador every year.
Kassan believes the event will still be relevant. Instead of guided tours in the showroom, the tours are held virtually, a place where big brands can present new electronics and innovations. “Microsoft Teams is officially the technology partner for CES,” Kassan said recently in a telephone interview. “So we’re using the team platform, and they’re going to coordinate with LG and Samsung, and you name it, and these tours are going live.”
The MediaLink party that kicks off CES every year is one of the hottest tickets in town. But this year obviously there won’t be the same personal energy out of necessity. Kassan, however, promises program surprises that could match the quality of the usual CES concert, which in the past included names like Gwen Stefani.
“It would be completely naive to believe that the same quality of networking as well as business development and activation will exist at CES,” says Alexis Boerger, founder of Orion Consultants and long-time CES participant who works with media and technology companies to plan their events.
The FOMO – fear of mission – is still there, says Boerger, which still makes CES a desirable stop, if only digitally. “While a lot of people are reluctant to some of the price tags, nobody wants that feel of FOMO,” she says. “So I think people are still getting involved to some degree.”