I’m a gadget lover, a technophile if you’d like. And while my mother was less than enthused when I dismantled the toaster as a child, that curiosity for how things works comes in handy when promoting tech offerings from clients. That same curiosity can be blamed for my tech news binges during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress (MWC).
MWC, which wrapped up last week, serves as the “world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry,” while CES, held each January, is a global trade show for the electronics and technology industries. Neither is open to the public and both highlight the latest technology driving our silicon chip-fueled lives. While CES is, to many, the mecca of tech gadgets and THE show for tech lovers, I believe its value to consumers and businesses lacks when compared to MWC.
Looking for a pen, which can convert English to any language while simultaneously measuring your heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and scheduling your next yoga session – chances are you can find it at CES. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath that you’ll be able to buy one anytime soon, if ever.
MWC on the other hand, is all about technologies launching in the near future. Companies from around the world descended upon Barcelona, Spain, to launch their latest cell phone offerings, mobile chipsets, and gadgets designed to complement mobile devices. Looking to join the wearable technology bandwagon? Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Fit, announced at MWC, hits store shelves in April. Unlike Samsung’s SPH-S100 watch phone shown in 2001 at CES, which never came to market.
But what does this mean for tech lovers, leaders and PR pros? Perspective.
Both CES and MWC have their place in the tech world, and both are important for those in the industry to watch. CES offers companies and PR pros an opportunity to explore the cutting edge of technology, pushing the boundaries of engineering and marketing communications. Meanwhile, MWC gives a clear indication of consumer demand, near term industry focus and a likely preview of future Christmas lists.
Maintaining awareness of industry trends is key to the work we do, and it’s why I balance the wonder and vision of CES with the reality of MWC. Now if Atari would just get around to releasing their Mind Link accessory.
Chris Mahar is an Account Executive for Airfoil, an integrated marketing communications firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Detroit, London and Hong Kong. Follow Chris on Twitter: @mahar_pr