LAS VEGAS: Schwinn Bicycles is attending next week's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for the first time in order to unveil its electronic bike, the Tailwind, and its battery technology, which was created with Toshiba.
Brands are using the popular show produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) as part of their PR strategies to kick off 2009. The show, which takes place in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11, attracts journalists, analysts, and industry professionals and was the site of the launch of such products as the VCR, DVD, and Xbox.
Sarah Szabo, communications manager for CEA said that it is expecting 2,700 companies, 130,000 attendees, 1,900 financial and industry analysts, and 4,300 media at the show.
"CES is a great platform to unveil this product and our brand to a wider audience that may not be as familiar with this type of bicycle," said Michael De Leon, PR manager for Cannondale Sports Group, which owns the Schwinn brand. "The first step is to educate everyone, from media to consumer, about the technology and about the product and then show them the benefits and the uses of the product."
Schwinn with help from Soar Communications, which is working the Tailwind launch, has already built pre-show buzz. For example, DVICE.com named the Tailwind one of the top five products to see at CES. Schwinn will maintain a booth at the show, take part in the ShowStoppers press event, and employ a demonstration area for attendees to ride the bicycles, which will be in stores in January 2009.
"Getting somebody on a product is a difficulty [for a trade show]," De Leon said, "but it's something that we need to do for people to really understand this product."
One way companies can stand out among the crowds is to be creative with their booth and host events or demonstrations, Szabo added. Companies can publicize these events through the CES press room and online, she said. CEA will also update its Twitter, Facebook, and blog throughout the event.
Celebrity appearances are also a way to stand out. Celebrities including recording artist Akon and Basketball Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler and Robert Parish, are expected to make appearances at CES this year.