While we look back fondly at our adventures, we still get home feeling the effects of madly trying to cover every square inch of the technological Shangri-La known as CES.
The walking, the running, the talking, the food and the dry air can really take their toll after a week spent in Las Vegas. And since that hedonistic desert den is home to so many trade shows, conventions and smut-o-ramas, here's everything you need to recover from your own such experience.
You can drink as much water as you can get your hands on, but the dry desert air in Las Vegas is always working to dehydrate every inch of your body — from your skin to your sinuses. Recovering in a hyper-humid environment is a must, and I recommend this portable humidifier over a full-size model. For one, it uses standard water bottles so it's compact and easy to store when it's not needed the rest of the year. And instead of heating the water until it evaporates, it uses a vibrating ultrasonic transducer to produce a cool mist that sounds a lot more refreshing. $US50.
Sure, the laptops, phones and cameras we brought were invaluable for covering everything announced at the show — but you can't write or focus a camera when you're sick. So, as important as the non-stop bottles of Emergen-C were at the show for avoiding a cold, they're just as important when you inevitably do get sick after returning home. There are of course plenty of ways to hyperdose on vitamin C, but none as oddly satisfying as shaking up a bottle full of orange powder. $US13 for 30.
Business cards are still the preferred choice of corporate currency at trade shows, but getting them from your random pockets into your phone's contact list is a time-consuming process. So, while a business card scanner certainly falls under the doomed category of uni-tasker, it's still a damn useful one. Dymo's CardScan Executive works with included OCR software to automatically ingest the contact details from every business card that passes under its optical eye. In fact, the software itself seems to be the real star of the show, validating the accuracy of addresses, filtering out duplicates and providing export options to every imaginable format. $US260.
An unbreakable rule for covering any trade show is to always wear comfortable shoes, no matter how grungy or smelly your sneakers might be. Your feet are easily the hardest working part of your body, so when it's over they deserve to be pampered. This kneading foot massager uses a spinning roller with 24 finger nodes to relieve pain, tightness and swelling on every part of your foot. When you first get home the highest setting is probably your best bet to begin the healing process, but as your feet start to forgive you, you can probably turn it down to something a bit more soothing and relaxing. $US130.
You'd think by now every company would have realised that journalists prefer press kits on a USB flash drive. But you'd be wrong. I still walked away from the show with a stack of printouts and something called D-V-Ds I had to peruse when I got home. Since a lot of them include pre-release info, shredding them up real good before you eventually recycle or dispose of them is an important and fun step. Black & Decker is certainly a name I trust when it comes to destruction, and their 10-sheet crosscut shredder has a healthy appetite for both wordy press releases and plastic discs. The post-shredded materials are kept separate for proper disposal, and its jaws are happy to munch through staples, bindings, strip club receipts and really anything you can cram in its slot. $US80.
That healthy diet you pledged to maintain at the show pretty much goes right out the window as soon as you get to the airport. At a trade show you learn to eat when you can, which usually ends up being a pretty terrible mix of desserts, buffets and overindulgent breakfasts. Afterwards you need to do everything you can to get back into shape, and this Quantum Scale will serve as a great encouragement. Instead of showing your actual weight, it lets you know how much you've gained or lost since your last measurement. Which I'll admit makes taking the news that you overdid it with the shrimp cocktails a little easier. $US76.
Did we miss anything? Add it to the list in the comments.
Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP