127th AES Convention features smaller footprint, impressive attendance

At a time when virtually every industry lives in constant hope of positive economic news, the 127th Audio Engineering Society Convention may represent a harbinger of a healthy, optimistic pro audio industry. During its four-day run in New York’s Javits Convention Center earlier this month, AES saw attendance of 18,162 audio professionals, creating some crowded aisles in the downsized exhibit area.

While booth sizes were down and a few notable manufacturers were missing from the show floor, this year’s AES was buoyed by its extensive programming, which kicked of with a keynote address by Peabody Award-winning broadcaster Bill McLaughlin. As always, the show boasted several new exhibitors among its total of 321 and a strong array of new products and product concepts. The show’s smaller footprint made the exhibit floor very navigable, even with the heavy crowds of the first two days. Exhibitors were uniformly pleased with the outcome.

“We had a level of trepidation going to shows this year because of the world economy,” says Piers Plaskitt, CEO of Solid State Logic. “The AES Convention, however, exceeded our expectations by delivering a wide range of prospects, from decision-makers to students. Our booth was busy from start to finish.”

“This year’s AES was a very pleasant surprise: a large quantity of well-qualified traffic. We saw top people from beginning to end and were thrilled with the results,” says TransAudioGroup President Brad Lunde.

First-time AES exhibitors included Shoreview Distribution, mh acoustics, Phoenix Audio and Schwartz Engineering and Design. AES executive director Roger Furness says, “This proliferation of up-and-coming firms represents a positive commitment to industry growth. The buzz on the show floor was palpably upbeat.”

“We were extremely happy with the turnout at this year’s AES Show, as it exceeded our expectations,” says Gerald Krulewicz, president of Wireworks. “Our booth was consistently busy and we had a high caliber of visitors that were genuinely interested in our products for upcoming installations. We always enjoy AES in New York; it gives us the perfect opportunity to meet with our existing customers and begin to forge relationships with new ones.”

Next year’s AES Convention will be Nov. 4-7 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.