I Hate Pepcom, Am Jealous Of Sarah's Cool Event. Wait --- I Have An Idea!

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on February 3, 2012

From The News Desk

So, it looks like Pando's first event is going to be a hit. All week I've been getting emails from friends asking if I have a special backdoor way to get them in (yep: pay $1000) and every time I see Sarah she seems even more enthusiastic about how amazing the evening is going to be.

Put bluntly: I'm jealous. I want to organize my own event. But what?

And then this morning, an email arrived which gave me my answer.

Regular readers might recognize the name "Pepcom". They're the organizers of that weird "Digital Experience!™" press event at CES where companies are asked to pay tens of thousands of dollars to showcase their new products to tech journalists ahead of the main conference.

The reality: Leo Laporte was denied entry because they didn't recognize him and TCTV's Andrew Keen was nearly carted off by security for asking them to clarify their privacy policy. (They told Andrew he couldn't come in -- even though he had a ticket -- unless he also provided a working email address. Andrew refused, on the basis that they would send him spam. Security was called. It was a mess.)

[Update: apparently CNET was banned from a previous event because they organized a meet up on the same evening. Amazing.]

Well, guess what -- today I received an email from Pepcom apologizing for the Vegas debacle and urging me to come to their next event. And the address they sent it to? Yup, the one I had to hand over on the door to check if I even had a ticket (I didn't). The one they promised that "we will never use to contact you or share with anyone else".

"Fuck you Pepcom," I though. And then I thought "hey, that's a neat name for an event".

So here's my idea: next year at CES I'm going to organize an (unofficial) PandoDaily event to directly clash with Pepcom's "Digital Experience!™". Unlike Pepcom's event, we're not going to pretend the event is open to "top-tier press" only. If you have a blog -- or, hell, a Twitter account -- we'll welcome you with open arms.

Also unlike Pepcom, we're not even going to force you to register in advance. Just show up at the door with some kind of proof that you've ever used the Internet, and we'll let you in. (If you're Leo Laporte, we'll set aside a special golden throne for you to sit on.)

Beyond that, the goal is to be the bizarro world version of Pepcom's event. Where Pepcom charges tens of thousands of dollars for companies to showcase their wares, we'll just put out some first-come-first served tables and you can demo whatever you like. Demo on the floor too, if you want. Or in the hallway. We don't care.

And there'll be free ice-cream. And I'm going to invite Andrew and Leo to do keynotes. Or something.

What else? I guess we should probably ban Pepcom staff from coming in, assigning aggressive security just to keep them out. And if any company currently confirmed with Pepcom's event wants to come to ours instead, we'll make them a banner sponsor. Not for any cash -- just for the satisfaction of messing with Pepcom.

Ok, those are my ideas for now. If you're going to be at CES next year, please do send me your ideas for other stuff we should do at the event and I'll do my best to make it happen.

I'll confirm the date and venue and theme of the event as soon as Pepcom confirms theirs. It'll be some time in January 2013, so we have time to figure all that out. All that's certain at this point is that it'll be a lot of fun.

See you there!