January 30, 2017
For the past six years Jill Gilbert’s job has been to convince health‐care companies to showcase their digital products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the annual trade show that turns the Las Vegas Strip into one of the world’s largest tech‐geek meetups drawing an attendance of more than 170,000.
Then in early 2014, Gilbert got pregnant, and her personal life and work life intersected as she delved into the growing field of devices, apps and services targeting the parenting audience. Realizing this was a big, emerging market that deserved its own forum, Gilbert began talks with CES to host the conference’s first‐ever Baby Tech Summit.
In January 2016, the inaugural summit—anchored by The Bump Best of Baby Tech Awards—launched. “The energy was palpable and the room was packed,” Gilbert says. “We’re excited to tell an even better story at the 2017 show about how baby technology fits into the family, both by potentially making lives easier and even saving lives.”
“Getting through the hurdle of that first year and making it successful. There’s always apprehension when something is new, but we believe in the topic. We thought there was enough interest in the baby tech space that it deserved to be packaged as it’s own show.”
“We’re connectors. Our job is to give people and companies a great platform, then help people understand how these products can help them. Will everyone get them? Absolutely not. Can we help make them more available and educate people about them? Absolutely.”
Putting it in perspective
“The first event had major awareness and companies got exposure for things that people didn’t even know existed. It was pretty impressive to see so many stories written about baby tech at CES, but we’re a work in progress—you don’t want to call anything a home run.”
“There’s a bigger story to tell than I expected. I thought there’d be interest in baby tech, but there’s different sides to it, whether it’s fertility, connectivity for moms, postpartum or raising baby. It’s a whole process you go through as a mom and as a family. Being able to help tell these stories is fascinating.”