Meetings and conventions in Las Vegas give companies remarkable bang for their marketing bucks
Cobra Electronics, a longtime leader in consumer communications gear, has a simple marketing secret: Instead of lavish consumer advertising, the Chicago-based company focuses on trade shows held in the place where important customers, bankers and other key industry figures are most likely to see them—Las Vegas.
At the giant annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a few years ago, Microsoft founder Bill Gates happened by Cobra’s 3,300-square-foot booth and spent 20 minutes chatting with Cobra Chairman and CEO Jim Bazet. Good Morning America had set up its cameras inside Cobra’s booth, and reporters from virtually all the major news media passed by regularly. “Where else,” asked Bazet at the time, “could a $100 million company get such valuable exposure?”
Cobra is a global leader in CB radios, radar detection and two-way radios. Recent innovations include the world’s smallest and most powerful radar detector, and the first touch-screen radar, laser and safety camera detector. Cobra displays these and other products at the International CES and at several smaller, more specialized Las Vegas trade shows. Dozens of Cobra’s top people attend these shows, reasoning that there’s no more effective place to interact with customers, bankers, industry analysts and the media.
Besides its superb meeting facilities, the city offers unique opportunities for entertainment and recreation, from great golf courses to many of the nation’s finest restaurants. And behind the scenes, Las Vegas has an unusual wealth of experienced and knowledgeable event planners, plus highly creative design and production specialists.
“People are happier going to Las Vegas than to any other meeting site,” says Bazet. “They come to Las Vegas expecting fun, which is the true reason meetings there are so successful. Las Vegas is a premier global attraction, yet it’s also the easiest, most effective place to hold a meeting that I know.”