Consumer Technology Association

Situation / Challenge

Organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been the launch pad for new innovation and technology for over 50 years. While the world's largest annual trade show is well known for its endless floor space, filled with the latest gadgets and technology, it’s less known for a robust educational conference program, with over 300 sessions and 1100 speakers.

To help elevate awareness and quality of their conference program, CTA needed a content consultant with a pulse on the cutting edge of technology identify the most compelling themes to present at CES and recruit the most interesting speakers to tell those stories. They also needed help meeting their gender and diversity goals as CES faced public criticism in past years for lack of female speakers.

Our Strategic Approach

Sage conducted an in-depth analysis of CES, which included attending considerable CES keynotes and presentations and looking at competing events and key stakeholder groups. Drawing upon its knowledge and experience in marketing and technology, Sage used social media, public relations, influencer marketing, and content analytics tools to identify topics for panel discussions and uncover the most influential disruptors to be speakers. Sage also created a rating system to facilitate the selection process of more than 1,200 individual speaker submissions.

Sage identified and recruited a new CES Advisory Board comprised of the industry’s most credible and distinguished thought leaders, and developed a strategy to best engage this board to receive strategic direction for the conference program. Sage and CTA also worked with the advisory board to develop and implement specific changes and initiatives to ensure women and minorities were a priority at CES.


From reshaping the speaker selection process, recruiting a new advisory board, managing the speaker invitation and outreach process, and writing compelling session descriptions, Sage helped increase conference attendance and ensured the best stories were told in the most engaging way possible at CES.

GenderAvenger, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that women are represented in the public dialog, awarded CES 2019 a “Gold Stamp of Approval” for a roster of keynote and “featured” speakers that was 45 percent women — 60 percent of them women of color.

Jim McIntyre