Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


That’s Not For Press

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I kind of thought my Press Pass would be like a magic card that can get me into any place. We came a couple of days early to CES so that we could attend the Press Conferences that were available. The first one that we wanted to attend was the Panasonic Press Conference at 3pm yesterday. It was being held at the Panasonic booth on the exhibition floor.

We were excited about what Panasonic has to show us, so we arrived a little early. That was probably our mistake. We tried to go on the exhibition floor, but we were stopped by the guard. He was firm. “Exhibitors Only. No Press.” We tried to explain that there was a press conference on the exhibition floor. I showed him my list. He just repeated the same story, “No Press. Exhibitors Only.”

We tried the Information Desk. He called someone on the phone who told him that press could only go onto the exhibition floor when escorted by an exhibitor. He suggested that we could call the exhibitor. I began to realize that the employees of the Las Vegas Convention Center were completely clueless. He said that we might be able to get a yellow wristband from the exhibitor. We tried to explain it to him again,

“You see, the Press Conference is in booth 9405.”

“Press isn’t allowed.”

“But it’s a PRESS Conference.”

“Yeah, they don’t allow Press in there.”

We tried the information booth at the front of the building, but that was just as useless. The big kahuna in the blue shirt there said that we could get one of the mysterious yellow wristbands from the Press Room. We had gotten our badges at the Press Room, but there had been no mention of any yellow wristbands.

We walked back over to the Press Room and asked the woman in the blue shirt about the yellow wristbands. She said, “Yeah, we’re not doing that anymore. There should be someone there to escort you in.” We took her word for it and walked all the way back to the door by the Panasonic booth. By then, they were letting in anyone with a blue badge as if there were no problems with allowing Press into the Press Conference.

It made me feel as if I had imagined the whole problem…

After fighting with the convention center employees about whether Press were allowed in the Press Conferences, we were tired and less willing to jump through hoops just to attend. There was a huge line for the Sony Press Conference. We started waiting in it, but then we found out that the line we were waiting in was for registered people only. We would have to wait in a different line to register. At that point, we had been so frustrated by the whole process that we just sat down and waited for them to get so busy that they would let us in.

Five minutes before it started, they stopped worrying about registration and just let in anyone with a blue badge as long as we handed them a business card. I guess the ease of getting into the Sony Press Conference makes up for the problems with the convention center employees.


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