131st AES Convention
In addition to the standard engineering and mastering panels, presentations, and keynote speakers which have made AES a “must-attend” event for years, the show also featured special appearances by iconic recording artists Judy Collins and Ben Folds.
While numbers were down slightly this fall compared to the previous Convention held in New York City in 2009 (sound familiar…?), the good news is: they were actually up when compared to last fall’s meeting in San Francisco (roughly 14,000 visitors, 300 exhibitors). It can be fairly stated that exhibitors seemed to see considerable upside to committing to the annual get-together. “The 2011 AES show actually exceeded our expectations,” said Kevin Weiss of Marshall Electronics/MXL. “Although there were fewer vendors than in past years, attendance was high and included many industry professionals with strong interest in our products. We found the contact quality of those we met at the show to be higher, and to include many individuals with purchasing decision power.” Cobi Stein of Eminence Speaker LLC was similarly positive, saying simply: “Overall it was a good show. Traffic was better than anticipated and we’re very glad we exhibited.”
Some were particularly upbeat when discussing the 2011 Convention and found it to be an improvement over last year’s outing. Chris Lyons of Shure, Inc. observed, “AES was better than we expected. Traffic in the exhibit hall was very good, and the attendees were very interested in hearing our newest microphones and headphones for themselves. Overall this was an even better show for us than last year. Attendance seemed to be up, and the visitors were more qualified, i.e. more directly involved in recording or music production. “
For many, though, the annual gathering isn’t just about closing deals and tallying the numbers, but is significant for the opportunity AES provides to connect with key players in the world of pro audio. “The 2011 AES Show exceeded our expectations,” said Community Professional Loudspeakers’ Mike Marr. “But, at Community we view the AES Show as more [about] relationships than business. We see consultants, engineers, and dealers whom we been friends with for 10-20 even 30 years. We manufacture speakers for live install, so AES is slightly out of our initial market but we’ve attended every AES Show for the last 40 years. Our expectation for the show is not to write business but to talk with the attendees and display some exciting new products.”
Wes Seeley of Hal Leonard agreed, saying, “I believe this year’s AES did live up to expectations. Traffic was steady throughout, and we had an opportunity to introduce out newest titles – as well as a few that are just around the corner – to this important audience.”
The 132nd European Audio Engineering Convention will be held in Hungary’s Budapest Congress & World Trade Center, April 26-29, 2012. The 133rd AES Convention is scheduled for October 26-29 of next year in San Francisco’s Moscone Center.