Main Features Day -1
Day -1
Written by Doug Schneider   
Thursday, 07 January 2010 01:04

Our show coverage doesn't technically start until the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- this year, that's January 7. However, the hard work begins one day before the CES, when we hand out our annual Product of the Year awards and take photos of the winners. Pictures of the recipients can be seen in the "Annual Awards" section of this site. As the pained look on Roger Kanno's face suggests, presenting awards is not an easy task.


The work on January 6 began at 8:15 am, when our team left our hotel (Bally's) and headed over to the Venetian, which is where most of the exhibitors are setting up. Roger and Jeff Fritz were tasked with carrying boxes containing the awards, John Crossett had to carry the bags and provide moral support to the heavy lifters, and I followed behind carrying the camera and pretending I was helping with all the hard work. What should have been a 15-minute walk turned into three quarters of an hour because the boxes are heavy and the guys had to stop more than a few times.


Arriving at the Venetian was just the first step. Jeff, who was in charge of scheduling, had us booked to present an award every half hour from 9 am to 6:30 pm. That's a lot of awards. And because that hotel is huge, the walk from one room to the other could take as long as 15 minutes. That meant the box-carrying agony lasted most of the day, since it wasn't until mid-afternoon that most of the awards had been presented.


Not surprisingly, with that much lifting being done for that many hours, stress levels rise, tension builds, and the bickering soon begins. John and I got along fine, but the box carriers were often at each other's throats -- and more than a few times when Jeff's instructions got to be too much for Roger, he simply chose to tune him out.

The scary thing is this: next year the SoundStage! Network will grow, there will be even more awards to give out, the boxes will be heavier, and there won't be enough hours in the day to accomplish it all. The solution: start two days before the CES actually begins.

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