CES is an interesting show. It’s not at all for a brand such as ours. It’s more of a khaki shorts and Sketchers type of atmosphere. But perhaps, just perhaps, that’s why we make such an impact.
I’d like to go on record and say that Las Vegas is a terrible place. It’s a shit salad of tacky carpets and cigarette butts, peppered with saggy boobs and fat people. Fattys. We did, however, rent a pretty kick-ass house, and that’s where our story begins…
Having spent the previous night as any sensible pair of twenty-somethings might, watching cartoons, swigging a Costco-sized bottle of Glenfiddich and making an absolute disaster out of the game of billiards, we arrived at our temporary home on our second night in town to find the front gate wide open and the door unlocked. Imagine our terror. We’d been joking about meth-heads pretty much our entire stay in Las Vegas, but it looked like the joke was about to be on us.
Adam had arrived that morning, so there were three of us at this point. We all crept into the dark house.
“Hello…? Please don’t kill us, Mr. Meth-head,” we whimpered. Nothing. We made it to the back room and each retrieved an example of the perfect self-defense weapon: the pool cue.
For some reason shower curtains scare the shit out of me. I used my pointy stick of ultimate protection to violently push them aside whilst flailing backwards and screaming like a girl. All was quiet. 3 more showers to go.
Unfortunately enough, there were no crack-heads to stab us to death, so we had to go to the tradeshow.
Stoke level was high, possibly the highest I’ve seen since our young brand began. Imagine, you’re navigating a sea of boring Consumer Electronics companies when you stumble across our glorious hand build mountain range and Airstream Trailer. We were a breath of fresh air in the smog of microchips and laptop video cameras (We were next to the Trojan Vibrator booth though… so there was that). Top it off with some witty commentary and innovative products, and you’ve got an oasis.
Featured above: The Chips – The first universal solution for helmet audio. Stoke level was off the charts.
Trade shows are both boring and repetitive, yet at the same time hilarious, should you find yourself with the right people. What began as a critique on the occasional show-goer turned into an American commentary of ridicule and hilarity. I tend to abide by a doctrine of not talking shit, but this went out the window just a few hours into it.
First came the guy that wanted to sell us a remote for a remote. Then the guy who questioned what use the Turtle Shell (our wireless speaker) could possibly be so long as headphones existed. Then the guy who had you engaged in a conversation about how he overcame premature male pattern baldness before you knew what was happening. They would always approach casually, with their badges turned around so you couldn’t see who they were, hands in their pockets, snooping, lounging about under their cloaks of anonymity until you gave in with a sigh and asked them how they were doing. Then they’d bite you, tear you limb from limb like zombies determined to drag you into their soulless worlds, force-feeding you information and opinions you could not, from the very depths of your soul, find a way to care any less about. There was never anywhere to run.
Soon it all started blending together. Anyone who’s been to a tradeshow knows what this is like- One minute you’re giving the sales pitch and the next you’re fumbling around Vegas’ Foundation room, pouring yourself greyhounds and talking to whoever will listen. You’re building the booth, then you’re ripping it down, then building it again but you don’t have everything you need, so you’re in Home Depot searching for it, and then you’re back in the convention hall, but you forgot something so you’re back in Home Depot.
Coffee turns to beer then back to coffee then to scotch, people expect you to remember their names and time just slips away in a tornado of flat tires, bars, robots that wash windows, bad room service and dead batteries. You have a sense that you know what you’re doing, when in reality you’re just pacing around, inserting and excluding yourself from different surroundings and situations so quickly that everything just becomes a steady flipbook of wardrobes and expectations, each with a defined entrance and required form of identification.
Still, it’s a fun ride. We found crack pipes for sale on the tops of convenience store counters, Old Vegas cocktail menus with witty, misleading drink names and sad, empty little bars with tiny red lights that washed over you, Sadie-Hawkins-in-the-mid-eighties-style.
Keep an eye on the blog for more stories from the OT Crew’s winter tradeshow tour, and as always, stay stoked.
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