A triple newbie goes to CES

Sharing his thoughts and a look back at CES 2011 is Andreas Gotthelf, one of the volunteer moderators from the Lenovo forum. We also managed to capture a few moments with him as he took in the new

ThinkPad Edge E220s.   If you liked the video, be sure to check out many of the great other photos from CES.

 

Well, it has been a few weeks since CES 2011, and I finally had a chance to sort out my thoughts about this great event and hope it's not too late to take a look back.  Invited by Lenovo´s social media team, I think I can speak for the whole gang of bloggers in attendance when I say that we were very pleased and thankful to have been Lenovo's guest at the event.

I've never attended CES, visited Las Vegas or even been to the US before,  so I guess this makes me a triple newbie.   After a 17 hours flight from Germany,  I arrived on a Tuesday, but because of the time shift, I wasn't certain which day it was exactly - talk about jet lag!.  I thought perhaps I had lost a day, but it turned out that just the opposite was true.

Las Vegas was simply great and I think everyone needs to be there at least three times before one can begin to comprehend it's greatness.  This impression was created not only by the Venetian Resort Hotel itself, but the huge volume of press people and bloggers arriving on Wednesday, always looking for the newest and hottest stories.

In contrast to the German consumer electronic exhibitions, the Cebit in Hannover, the CES looks much more as a great entertainment show for new products and services based on newest technologies.   So in fact, it didn't look like an exhibition to me at all.  More like a huge party.

Every brand wanted to celebrate, putting on  the finest and greatest show, to gain attention from the professional attendees, the press and bloggers, to spread the word about their products and the brand as a whole in the commercial and social spheres.

Although we had much free time there were three highlighted events.  The arrival of the sweet Charm City Cake on Wednesday, the Intel Evening on Thursday (I was especially proud, because I won a football signed by Terry Bradshaw) and the following Microsoft Evening on Friday with the IdeaPad vs. MacBook boot up competition.

You can imagine, which system won...   (in case you missed it, here's a video)

Lenovo´s show at Aquaknox, was a unique place I think.   Far from the exhibition at the Las Vegas Convention Center it exuded a special kind of atmosphere.   A very nice place to meet and discuss the new series and technologies.

The most interesting devices, judged by the number of people circulating around were the U1 and the Slate.   However, the most discussed question I've heard both off  and online in the Lenovo Forum, was the question when the T420(s) will appear.  Unfortunately I couldn´t touch it, cause there wasn´t a machine availiable at that time. The most love went to the amazing U260 and not only by women!  Same is true for the premium line ThinkPad Edge E220s and 420s or the X120e.   The  new models will become availiable between February and April, depending where you live on the planet.

A special highlight was our meeting with Lenovo´s CMO David Roman.   After this meeting I can say that Lenovo is aware of the wants and needs of both their old and new customers.   Brand differentiation across different product lines is always a challenge, but Lenovo´s different facilities located all over the world will spark innovation, me thinks. Because of the staff´s background coming from different cultures and working together in one company will leverage innovative ideas.

I was also impressed with one concept behind Lenovo´s social strategy.  This idea is described best as the "social connect vs social commerce" approach.   A strategy to build long time relationships, rather than hunting for short trends and promotions. I would like to see an addition to this strategy and the use of social media not just as a medium to build relationships, but to co-create value with their customers.

Over all, I was very impressed by the US., Las Vegas, and most definitely by CES .  Last by not least, I made a lot of new friends.  As a last word I would like to say:  Big thanks to all the great people from Lenovo, who made this journey possible.

Andreas

Disclaimer:  My travel to and accommodations during CES were provided by Lenovo.  All opinions and reviews are my own.