My CES trip: Full Disclosure

by · January 7, 2012

If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I am heading to CES in Las Vegas on Monday. This post is to tell you how this trip came about.

Originally I was not heading to CES, I am a freelancer on a rather tight budget when it comes to trips away, so more game-centric events such as E3, PAX etc have to take a higher priority for me. I would love to go to every tech/games/geek expo, but it’s just not possible.

So on Friday, Dec 30th I get an email from the PR folks for Qualcomm, who make processors and stuff for numerous things including cell phones & tablets. The email asked if would I be interested in attending CES as part of their Qualcomm Ambassador program. Now of course I can be a bit dim when it comes to some things, so I responded by thanking them, but I was not going to the show. The next email kinda floored me, as their response was that Qualcomm would like to host me at CES, taking care of my flights, hotel, registration etc.

Now I have never taken a hosted trip from anyone before, actually I have never been offered one before! I know where my place on the totem pole is and as I don’t do a huge amount of previews etc, all I generally get is review code and maybe an invite to a launch party in LA and to be honest, that works fine for me. 

Anyway, back on topic. After reading the offer, I had to think about it. After all nothing is ‘free’ in life and someone always expects something back, and seeing as my reputation is built on being 100% honest with my thoughts, I don’t want to end up a shill. I know it works for some members of the media but I did that for years as a PR guy and vowed never again.

So I call the very nice PR chap, ask him some questions, explain my concerns and he was very open & understanding. He explained how the trip would work (see below) and that there were no expectations for me to turn into ‘Mr Qualcomm’, just to come, attend their keynote, hit a few booths to see how their processors work with mobile gaming devices (cells, tablets) and report on anything that I liked. I would also be participating in their ambassador roundtable that streams live on their site on Weds Jan 11th from Noon – 12.45 PST.

After hearing all this, I took some time to think about it. I spoke to a couple of people I really trust both in & out of the industry then thought some more before accepting.

So here is the full rundown:Qualcomm are supplying:
1/ My flights to & from Vegas.
2/ My hotel in Vegas
3/ My CES Attendee badge
4/ Meals & travel in Vegas

Qualcomm are also providing me with a Samsung Galaxy 8.9 Tablet & a HTC Radar 4G phone that runs on their Snapdragon processor so that I can record video, tweet & blog from the show.

So that’s the full deal folks. I am going to CES, I get to play with some cool toys, see the Qualcomm demos etc, but I also get to go see Sony, MS & Nintendo plus anyone else who has some cool games stuff.
As always, let me know your thoughts, either below in the comments, or via Twitter (@annoyedgamer). 

Thanks!
Marcus

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