Lots of people came to last week’s Consumer Electronics Show to gawk at giant TVs and crazy gaming glasses.
And then there’s another group of CES visitors who come every year but don’t really care about consumer electronics. Or at least, they don’t really care about seeing any consumer electronics. Instead, the show is an excuse for advertisers and the media companies that want their money to meet up in Las Vegas for an intense couple days of networking and partying.
If you spend your CES with those folks, you don’t go near the show floor — in fact, you probably brag about never going to the show floor.
Instead you camp out at hotels like the Cosmopolitan, where consumer Web companies like Twitter, Spotify and Yahoo set up shop and host meeting after meeting with would-be partners.
And you also spend a lot of time in the orbit of Michael Kassan.
Kassan is CEO of MediaLink, a consultancy group you’ve probably never heard of, yet that does work for everyone from Microsoft to News Corp to Unilever.
At CES, Kassan has created his own, second convention, which he calls “Brand Matters.” During the day, he hosts a series of keynote speeches and panel events featuring luminaries from Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue.
And at night he hosts two see-and-be-seen parties: An opening night cocktail event — affectionately described as a “zoo” by one of the attendees this year — and an “intimate” dinner that is also a cocktail party and is also jammed with several hundred people who run a big chunk of the media world.
When I went to Kassan’s dinner last year, I rode the elevator to the top of the Mandalay Bay hotel with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her entourage. When we stepped out we walked right into Rupert Murdoch. This year’s CEO count included Viacom’s Philippe Dauman, Twitter’s Dick Costolo and AOL’s Tim Armstrong.
How does he get all those folks there? And what does he get out of it? He’s not a shy guy, so I was able to get him to explain what he does in his own words:
More Articles About CES 2014:
- I Came Not to Be Buried by CES, But to Be Dazed by It
- CES, the Media Version, Hosted by Michael Kassan
- Marissa Mayer in Las Vegas, Giant TVs and CES Ghosts: Re/code on TV
- Mossberg: CES Is Not What You Think It Is
- Re/code’s Not-So-Quantified CES, Including Critical Jerky Data
- The CES Startup Hardware Report
- BlackBerry Says Keyboards Are the Future
- Qualcomm’s Steve Mollenkopf on China, Cars and Wearables
- Three Things From CES You Should Know About: Thursday Edition
- Tactile Typing on Glass With a Magic Trick of a Keyboard
- Razer Unveils Nabu Smartband
- Three Things From CES: Wednesday Edition
- Behold: Valve’s First Steam Machines
- Samsung Planning More Wearables for Launch of Next Galaxy S, Galaxy Note
- Sony CEO Kaz Hirai on 4K TVs, Wearables and Hanging With Dan Loeb
- It’s Official: Everyone Is Exploring Wearables — Including Lenovo
- Purple People Eaters: Liveblogging Marissa Mayer’s CES Event
- Kaz Hirai on Why Sony’s Pay TV Bid Can Succeed
- Three Things From CES You Should Know About: Tuesday Edition
- T-Mobile CEO on Being Thrown Out of AT&T’s Party: “I Just Wanted to Hear Macklemore”
- Sony, T-Mobile Team Up Again to Bring Waterproof Xperia Z1s to U.S.
- Yahoo’s Mayer Hits CES to Tout Ads, Tech Star Pogue and, Natch, Herself
- First Look: Samsung Goes to Work With the Galaxy NotePro, TabPro
- AT&T’s Ralph De La Vega on T-Mobile, Toll-Free Data and More
- Asus CEO Teases Padfone X Phone-Tablet Hybrid, Coming Soon to AT&T
- First Look: The New Pebble Steel Smartwatch
- In Wireless First, AT&T Says It Is Ready to Offer “Toll-Free” Data
- Three Things From CES: Monday Edition
- First Look: Parrot’s Crazy Jumping Drones
- Google Teams with Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia for In-car Android
- Mike Bell Explains Intel’s Big Bet on Small Devices
- Nvidia Debuts 192-Core Mobile Chip, the Tegra K1
- “Roku TVs” Coming This Year
- Connected Cars Driving 2014 CES to Become More of an Auto Show
- Amid the Hype, Remember the CES Gadget Graveyard
- Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Rekindling the Chipmaker’s Innovative Process
Join the conversation: