After barely ringing in the new year at midnight, I, along with everyone here at Getaround, were thrown into an exciting whirlwind that is CES. For those not in the tech or business world, CES is the Consumer Electronics Show: an annual convention held in Las Vegas to showcase new, exciting, and innovative tools and/or services. The attendance list covered everyone from industry moguls there to show off their latest product, startup companies trying to get their name and product out, as well as the general public looking for a peek into the future & checkout some cool new ‘toys.’
Getaround sent me (Hannah), and two of our co-founders: Jessica Scorpio, and Elliot Kroo (for one day as tech support =p) as company representatives to promote Getaround, man our booth, and take care of all things Tesla. We managed to avoid the steep booth fees by partnering with GE (for their FIRST time ever at CES). They wanted to make a splash and bring some attention to to their innovative green products like the Wattstation, a new EV charging station. We were part of their Desert Quest game: a scavenger hunt that required the player to remain vigilant through the show for the chance to win several big prizes, one of which was the rental of our very own Tesla Roaster Sport!
Jessica and I spent the four days of CES (in Vegas’ record breaking COLD weather) answering questions about the car, introducing consumers to the idea of peer-to-peer car-sharing, promoting GE’s game, encouraging people to take a shot at our own Tesla slot machine, all while networking up a storm. Oh, did I mention we had an awesome outside booth? (Shout out to those who dropped by our booth at CES and those who brought us warm drinks!) Each day brought different hair-wrenching challenges (both technical and theoretical) that were well worth it when met with the happy faces of our rental winners and visitors at the booth. We were extremely busy, having to vicariously experience other exhibits through friends who would stop by to say, “Hello,” check out our offering, and give us the 411 of what was going on. By the end of the trip, we gave away four rentals, two of which occurred in Vegas, and spoke with hundreds of electronic aficionados.
Outside of the time spent with the Tesla at our booth, we also had the responsibilty of transporting 718 (that’s her name) to and from the Las Vegas Convention centers and Czarnowski, an events production company who were very kind, welcoming, and helpful with anything we needed. From set design to rentals, their warehouse seemed like an endless toy trunk. We are very grateful for Johnny P’s help and great attitude about everything.
Jessica and I also made friends with fellow exhibitors; most notable were @GoalZero, a company that produces awesome commercially available solar panels among other power solutions, and @Timbuk2, the makers of those sweet bags everyone has on their bikes. It was a great chance to hear feedback from other semi-established start up companies as well as see their products. We also had the great fortune to meet Lance Merkin, Tesla’s star salesman and Las Vegas tourguide-extraordinaire. He was extremely knowledgeable not only about the Tesla but business, customer service, and helping us re-work how we introduce peer-to-peer car-sharing to people. Our conversation with him left us with a new and exciting perspective about Getaround and answers to the tough Tesla questions asked by CES attendees.
With a great start at CES, 2011 looks like it’ll be an exciting and eventful year here at Getaround.
— Hannah, your friendly neighborhood admin. & Jane of all trades