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AES issues convention attendance figures

With 407 exhibits and 17,892 attendees, a palpable upbeat vibe accompanied the 125th AES Convention, which was held in the Moscone Center, Oct. 2-5. “From an SRO audience for Opening Day Ceremonies and Chris Stone’s Keynote Address to packed houses for most of our Platinum, Educational and Special Events, the 125th Convention will stand as a watermark against which future conventions will be measured,” said John Strawn, convention co-chairman.

With the economy in freefall and travel costs on the rise, the show featured a smaller footprint than its previous appearance in San Francisco, and attendance was notable more for its quality than sheer quantity. "The AES is a powerful brand that continues to attract a high-quality visitor," said Dan Duffell, who heads marketing for Solid State Logic. "We've enjoyed three days of productive interactions with decision makers in the industry."

“We were happy to see the strong turnout,” said Paul Foschino, senior manager for professional audio in Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division. “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) views 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.”

Exhibitors recognized the unique audience and environment of an AES show. Harman Professional Executive VP of marketing and sales Michael MacDonald opened the AES press conference by paraphrasing Spinal Tap: “’It’s not that we’re becoming less popular; it’s that our audience is becoming more selective.’ While numbers may be a little down, the relevance of the convention remained strong.”

Next year’s convention will be held in New York City, Oct. 9-12.

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