Tag Archives: CES

Andrea Smith Women in CE Award

Women in CE 2015 Legacy Awards

Those of you who know me know I began my career as a newswriter and producer at ABC News in the early 80’s and started covering the world of technology sometime in 1994. At that time there very few women in tech, not journalists and certainly not the decision-makers at the tech companies I was interviewing.

Back then, mentoring and “leaning in” was not a trend. There were no women to turn to to ask advice, to help with connections or to propel you forward. This was a journey I made myself, digging in each and every day and trying to prove to people I could do the job.

There were times I was the only woman on a panel of tech journalists, and certainly the only one in the ladies room at tech conferences. That’s why the Women in CE organization is so important to me.

Founded by the amazing Carol Campbell; it lets me give back. There’s not always time for talking with people and sharing my experiences in journalism and what led me on my career path but the Women in CE conference every June spearheaded by Carol is the one event I always make time for.

Women in CE is focused on empowering women, building networks and supporting career opportunities across the breadth of the consumer electronics industry. There are tools and resources for members to interact, exchange ideas, educate, and empower each other.

I have been on panels about mentoring, conducted social media makeovers for women looking to get ahead, and chatted with women who had simple questions or needed a sounding board. My favorite piece of advice that I’ve shared over the years came from my husband, not another women who was helping in my career. He taught me to “proceed until apprehended.” In other words, stop asking for permission to do something and just do it. It’s the best piece of advice I ever got and he reminds me of that mantra to this day.

This year I was both honored and privileged to receive a Women in CE Legacy Award at an event at CES 2015. To be recognized by my peers – a group of women – is an accomplishment I am deeply proud of.

As I said at the event, I’m happy to wait in line for the ladies room at CES. It’s simply another way of sharing the space with a group of smart, talented, professional women.
Eternal thanks to Carol Campbell for all she does for so many people.

Below is a video overview of the event in Las Vegas.

Randi Zuckerberg’s excellent adventures with MommyTech at CES

I told Randi Zuckerberg, at the start of our first of three interviews at CES, by the end of the day she was either going to hate me or we were going to be CES BFF’s.

Here’s how it turned out:
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Randi Zuckerberg knows a thing or two about oversharing, and she’s learned a lot along the way. In fact, she’s taken what she learned and turned it into a book, Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives.

Most people think of Randi Zuckerberg as Facebook founder Mark’s big sister, but she’s also an entrepreneur, a mom, and an author, willing to share her struggles as well as her triumphs.

Randi joined us at MommyTech at CES in Las Vegas, where she said she loved seeing women take the tech world by storm. In our MommyTech TV interview she talked about how difficult it is in a connected world to find balance between devoting yourself to your career as well as your family.

Randi says she’s perfected the art of “lopsided parenting,” meaning sometimes she spends a little too much time working, for instance, on her recent book tour. But then she makes up for it by making lots of time for family.

You can watch the video from one of the interviews here:

Here are five things Randi shared with us. (There are more tips about finding balance and managing technology in the video below.)

1. Parents need to know the tech their kids use every day. You don’t need to be on every social site, but you do need a baseline familiarity with the tech that your children are using.

2. Don’t place your phone on the table when meeting friends or dining with family. It says that any small interruption is more important than the person you’re spending time with.

3. Pay attention to people around you, and don’t feel obligated to return every email immediately. Just because someone sent it, doesn’t mean you need to stop what you’re doing and answer it.

4. About those selfies: Just because you can document every single thing you do doesn’t mean you should. In fact, if you’re constantly taking pictures, chances are you won’t actually remember what it was you saw.

5. Manage your technology, and make it work for you. Use it so you can get home in time to put your children to bed, but don’t spend the rest of the night answering email. It’s important to set boundaries between your public and private life.


What are your tips for balancing your connected life?

I’ve Never Been so Excited About Heading to CES



Aside from the flight delays and frigid temperatures across the country delaying travel plans, I’ve never been so exited to be heading to Las Vegas for CES. Sure, the sunny and 60 forecast for the week warms my heart and my toes, but this year, I’m not just covering the show, I’m putting on part of it.




MommyTech TV is a brand new way to show the latest gadgets and trends from CES 2014. We’re taking the panel conference and moving it to the show floor where we can look at the technology from a woman’s point of view. We’ll be meeting with companies and playing with products and talking about how women’s influences on tech are changing things up. 

So this year, in addition to the MommyTech conference, where you can hear David Pogue’s latest take on tech, or Randi Zuckerberg’s tips for living in a connected world, stop by the Venetian for MommyTech TV. That’s where we’ll be doing our live programming from the MommyTech stage on the show floor. Whether you’re interested in teaching kids how to code, setting up a smart home, or simply learning how to tame the tech in your home, check out the schedule so you can join in the conversation.

 Definitely come by to hear our version of MommyTech meets The View when Chip Chick’s Helena Stone, USA Today’s Jennifer Jolly, Rebecca Levey of KidzVuz and I dish about the new tech gadgets unveiled at the show. 



We’re streaming the segments on MomTV and we’ll be taking Twitter questions from the audience. Got a question for Randi? Join our conversation and ask away. We’ll also be posting the best videos on Huffington Post Tech. 

So if you’re at CES, come by and say Hi. Or follow along on Twitter using #mommytechtv.

I’ll be there Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 2pm, and really hope you come introduce yourself.

Safe travels, everyone! 

CES 2014: 5 Ways Not to Pitch Me

I’m sure every reporter has his or her own way of dealing with the onslaught of CES press pitches. Some people like to set up appointments for the show, and act on that as the invites start coming in. Others, like me, prefer to file them all in a separate email folder and wait until I get time to go through them. Usually, this time doesn’t ever present itself, and I finally carve out a few hours mid-December.

I’m not complaining; I appreciate PR people getting in touch and helping me discover what I want to see at CES. It’s just that the level of outreach this year seems more overwhelming than usual. Companies and agencies are blast emailing everyone on the press list, whether their product is relevant to you and your audience or not. I’m sure it’s easier on their end, but on this end, oh, the avalanche!

Nothing says good PR like someone knowing what I do, what I cover, and who my audience is. Take a look at my website, see who I write for and what types of stories I’m working on. I’ve seen numerous tweets from my fellow tech reporters on the number of blast emails they’ve received from people pitching CES products and interviews. One buddy tweeted his response: “Can you help me understand why this would be of value to me or of interest to my readers?” Snarky, maybe but completely true. What value is there to me in meeting with your company?

Avoid words like “breakthrough technology,” “game-changing”, and “revolutionary.” I’m sure your product is great, really, but a game changer? If it is as revolutionary as you claim, at least try to tell me why.

Follow Up: I get that you need to follow up, really I do. But sending a daily email for an entire week just gets me to the point where I want to reply “no” without even looking. Sorry I’m not on your timeframe, but there are deadlines to meet, after all. If I miss all the good time slots, that’s my problem for being late, right?

Numerous Queries: Save yourself some time and energy. Have one person from each agency or each account send pitches. Receiving more than one query about meeting with someone or seeing products from the same team just seems counterproductive. It’s a waste or your time, and mine.

Exclusive: I’ve been offered more than my fair share of “exclusive” interviews or demos. Flattered, really, but I highly doubt I’m the only person you are going to show your product to. If you’re doing an interview with someone other than me, it’s no longer exclusive.

All that said I do welcome your pitches. I’ll be producing and hosting MommyTech TV on Tuesday and Wednesday until 2pm and have time in the afternoons as well as the other days to walk around the show floor and see all the latest gadgets. Please just make sure they’re relevant to me and my audience.

See you all in Las Vegas.

CES 2012: Notes from the plane

We’re 45 minutes out of Las Vegas airport, the flight attendants are collecting newspapers for recycle, and I’m roaming the aisle trying to catch the score of the Giant’s playoff game on someone’s TV screen. Yes, the Giants are winning. And while I’m thinking about things I just didn’t think were  possible, (with full apologies to my #1 Giants fan son) another CES is upon on.

Hard to believe, and yet each year it manages to creep up on us. And this year we even got a few extra days after the holidays to enjoy with family before the craziness began.

Each year I know a little more, feel like I’ve scheduled a little better, tried to be more organized. But with 150 ,000 attendees and somewhere near 2,800 exhibitors, I may miss a few.

I’ll be meeting with companies, checking out what they hope to be releasing this coming year, (remember, not everything actually makes it to market) trying on headphones, testing out glasses-free 3DTV, playing with Ultrabooks, and hope to get lots of interviews and take lots of pictures to share with you.

You can hear my audio interviews on abcnews radio and slacker radio, and check my twitter feed for pictures of the latest gizmos and gadgets being demo’d on the show floor.

First up: CES Unveiled, and an interview with CEA President Gary Shapiro.

Meeting me at CES-Some do’s and dont’s

To my colleagues in the PR world, yes, I will be at CES. I have a very short time for meetings and interviews as I have other conference moderating commitments, so given the plethora of email pitches I’ve already received, I thought I might offer some helpful tips on what I’m looking for.

In other words, here’s a list of don’ts:

Your email pitches will go unanswered if you don’t tell me where your booth is located; which hall. I try to make appts in the same general vicinity so I’m not running back and forth all day.

Any email pitch over 1MB in size, you know who you are, will be deleted automatically without being read. Period.

If your CEO is in town and just wants to talk to the media, I don’t care. Frankly, I’d rather interview a well-informed company spokesperson than a CEO who wants to recant the history of the company for half an hour. No time for that.

If your company has new colors of the same product, I don’t care. And don’t send pictures, it’s Radio! And they take up to much room in my email.

No matter how fabulous the car/limo is, I will not leave the vicinity of the Convention Center to go to a hotel to see your product. It will take twice as long as you and I both think it will for me to get there and back. I could meet with 3 other companies during that time. Sorry. Get a booth.

‘Major announcement of a ground-breaking new product’ is subjective. Apple announcing the  iPad 2 might be considered a major item, especially since they don’t attend CES. A Palm OS tablet is major, sponsored products are not. Same thing for “cutting-edge technology.”

We’re at CES 2011, 90 percent of this should be cutting edge.

So please, a simple email with who you are, what you’re showing, and where you’re located will suffice.  So will Diet Coke and granola bars.

Thanks, see you in Vegas!