The Percussive Arts Society’s 2009 International Convention (PASIC), took place in Indianapolis, Indiana from November 11-14. The three-day event included performance clinics, roundtables, and an exhibition floor featuring wares from many of the top percussive instrument and accessory manufacturers, music publishers, and several retailers. While some exhibitors opted to scale back their booth sizes and displays as compared to years past, there was no shortage of foot traffic on the exhibition floor, and the mood was decidedly optimistic about the future of the percussion, and greater MI, industry.
The recently concluded Retail Print Music Dealers (RPMDA) Salt Lake City convention was more typical of a “gathering of the clan” than a trade show and seminar session, as dealers and suppliers met and exchanged more hugs than handshakes during the three-day meet held April 29 to May 2nd. The official count was 233 attendees with 126 print dealers and 107 associate members. Typical of the times, attendance was down approximately ten percent from last year’s meeting in Boston. As in the past, the group had an international flavor with registrants from Canada, France, and Germany, as well as the U.S. Two of the highlights were a special performance for RPMDA members by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, arranged by local print dealer Ruby Beeson of Best in Music, and the appearance of “Sesame Street’s” Bob McGrath, who recently completed his 38th year on the PBS series. McGrath’s appearance was sponsored by NAMM, which is a major supporter of the “Sesame Street” show.
Under the backdrop of an economy in turmoil, billions of dollars in bailouts being bandied about, and the nation’s leadership due for an overhaul, the Percussive Arts Society’s annual International Convention proceeded with remarkable success. The turnout of over 6,500 at the Austin, Texas show represented the third highest attendance in PASIC’s 32-year history.
The 2008 Percussive Arts Society International Convention took place from Nov 6-9 in Austin, Texas. As the streets around the convention center in downtown Austin echoed with the cadences of high school and collegiate drumlines, the mood inside the expo was one of cautious optimism about the MI market going forward, in spite of the turbulent economy, which weighed heavily on the minds of consumers, manufacturers, and retailers alike. As one vendor stated, “Hope comes from the idea that in good times and bad, people will continue to play music.” This optimism was not unwarranted, as foot traffic was high and sales relatively strong. In fact, another vendor, a representative from a cymbal manufacturer, mentioned that his company hit their sales target for the entire show in the very first day.
Despite the worst week ever recorded in the worldwide economic markets, the Music China and Pro Light & Sound Shanghai Show, which took place October 9-12, bucked the trend and provided a strong flow of buyers and reports of positive business.
In this bustling metropolis of nearly 20 million people, the burgeoning middle and upper classes were widely visible in their Audis, Mercedes Benz, BMWs, and especially Buicks, which have a special cache in China. Shanghai is undergoing a tremendous economic growth and you can see new bridges, roads and buildings being built throughout the city. There is a unique blend of traditional Chinese history offset by ultramodern, western style skyscrapers that highlight the landscape and make a powerful statement that Shanghai is on the cutting edge both economically and culturally.