Engadget at CES

Editorial Strategy + Creative Direction + Live Event Programming

Editorial Strategy + Live Event Production

Every January, the tech industry descends on the Las Vegas Convention Center for the city’s most popular conference: CES. For years, the show was the single-biggest source of revenue for Engadget, driving millions of UVs and VVs daily. Over the course of seven days, our teams produced hundreds of posts, frequent liveblogs, hands-on videos from the show floor, and 20+ plus hours of live video from the Engadget stage. The week culminated in the official Best of CES awards.

In my various editorial roles, I helped shape the site’s event coverage. Each year I would work with managers from editorial, social, and video to mine consumer trends, audience metrics, and the competitive landscape for insights into how best to reach our audience.

In addition to directing editorial strategy, I organized on-the-ground coverage for a staff of 30+ writers, editors, designers, and developers; oversaw creative direction for the stage, trailer, and Best of CES awards; and collaborated with marketing, advertising, and events to ensure a seamless experience online and IRL.

As Executive Editor and later Editor-in-Chief I also hosted tours for advertisers, interviewed tech luminaries on the CES stage, and MC’d the annual award show.

Creative Direction

Before we launched The Grass Agency, Design Director Reena Karia and I served as the creative force behind Engadget. In addition to acting as the site’s editor, I also functioned as its creative director in everything but title. I frequently contracted Reena for large and small-scale projects.

In 2015, Engadget was selected to return as host the official Best of CES awards. As the site’s de facto creative team, we conceptualized and designed Engadget’s presence at CES for the next four years. Each year we would devise a visual language, playing on themes of disruption, innovation, and the future. Graphics carried over from the website to an on-site trailer, live stage, custom swag, and award trophies.

From 2015 on, the Best of CES awards trophies and graphics played off the concept of invention and innovation. The lightbulb motif, harkening back to one of the most life-changing inventions of all-time, carried over from year to year, eventually resulting in a collaboration with Box Clever, an SF-based industrial design studio. In 2017, we brought Box Clever on board to stream-line the trophy production design, allowing us to easily change material and color annually.  

Each year we approached the Engadget stage, which played host to hundreds of hours of live streamed interviews, panels, and the CES award show, with an eye toward technology’s impact on humanity. Color and light or the absence thereof, played a major role in the design process, resulting in prismatic crystal trophies (2015), walls of gradients (2018), and black and white geometric patterns that mirror the camouflage used to mask pre-release electronics (2017). 

The Engadget trailer, which played home to the site’s editorial and events staff, carried over the design from the stage to the parking lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center.