Audio is #1 As Attendees Focus on New Technologies and Making Connections
SAN FRANCISCO: As the 407 exhibits were dismantled and the 17,892 attendees began returning home, a palpable upbeat vibe accompanied virtually everyone involved with the 125th AES Convention held in the Moscone Center Oct. 2 – 5, 2008.
“All our Committee Chairs noted the professionalism and enthusiasm evidenced by event participants and attendees alike,” remarked Convention Co-Chair John Strawn. “From an SRO audience for Opening Day Ceremonies and Chris Stone’s Keynote Address to packed houses for most of our Broadcast, Platinum, Educational and Special Events (including Geoff Emerick’s 40th Anniversary Sgt. Pepper’s presentation), the 125th Convention will stand as a water mark against which future conventions will be measured.”
"The AES is a powerful brand that continues to attract a high quality visitor," says Dan Duffell, Head of Marketing, Solid State Logic. "We've enjoyed three days of productive interactions with decision makers in the industry."
“We were happy to see the strong turn out at this year’s AES Convention,” remarked Paul Foschino, senior manager for professional audio in Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division. “The show seemed busy from Day 1 right on through to the end. Our booth was crowded with interested customers, dealers and press non-stop. We came to introduce our new Digital Wireless Systems, and were extremely pleased with the quality of the attendees that this show draws. The AES attracts a well-qualified, professional audience. It’s the best show to introduce a new technology or high end product to the market.”
Paul Gallo, Executive Director of the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) points to the AES Convention as “a rallying point for our international community. We gather together to discuss the issues that impact on our individual business concerns and on the industry as a whole. The AES represents the full diversity of the pro audio community. Manufacturers, engineers and end users all interface in the familial atmosphere. From recording to broadcast to video games and sports coverage, audio permeates our society. We are extremely fortunate to share an annual event of this depth and scale.”
Exhibitors recognized the unique audience and environment of an AES show. Harman Professional Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Michael MacDonald opened their AES press conference by paraphrasing Spinal Tap. ‘Questioned by a reporter about Spinal Tap’s shift from stadium venues to clubs and whether this was an indication of the band’s declining relevance, a band member remarked, ‘it’s not that we’re becoming less popular it’s that our audience is becoming more selective!’ MacDonald drew the analogy to AES, pointing out that “While numbers may be a little down, the relevance of the convention remained strong.”
AES incoming President Jim Anderson echoes those sentiments. “Certainly everyone is concerned about the economy, but equipment was being bought; people were taking advantage of Master Classes, Tutorials and other educational opportunities to improve their skills, and networking was on overdrive. This was an extremely positive event.”
AES Executive Director Roger Furness concludes, “The 125th Convention reflects the overall optimism of our industry. Despite economic concern, we filled the North Hall of the Moscone Center with exuberant and highly motivated crowds.
“A huge vote of thanks or, if you will, a ‘shout out,’ must be shared by our dedicated Convention Co-Chairs Valerie Tyler and John Strawn, and by of each member of our volunteer Committee,” he adds: “Broadcast Session Chair, David Bialik; Education Events Co-Chairs, Dottie Kreps, Mark Swiderski and Teri Grossheim; Facilities Chair, Bob Megantz; Historical Events Chair, Tamara Horacek; Live Sound Events Co-Chairs, Bob Lee and Jonathan Novick; Tutorials and Master Class Co-Chairs, Jim McTigue and Conrad Cooke; Papers Co-Chairs, Veronique Larcher and Rob Maher; Platinum Panels Chair, Paul Verna; Special Events Chair, Chandra Lynn and Vice Chair, Larry The O; Tech Tours Chair, David v. R. Bowles; Volunteer Co-Chairs, Tim Duncan and Evan Peebles and Workshops Co-Chairs, Dave Harris and Joe Carter. This brilliant team has done the AES and the pro audio industry proud,” Furness concludes.
The 127th AES Convention will be held at NYC’s Jacob Javits Center, Oct. 9-12, 2009
Photos: Day 1 of the 125th AES Convention held at SF’s Moscone Center, Oct. 2-5, 2008.
Currently celebrating its 60th anniversary, The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 by a group of concerned audio engineers. The AES counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. For additional information visit http://www.aes.org