by Clive Young
"Make The Right Connections." In the audio world, that's a phrase with a multitude of meanings, but the 125th AES Convention addresses it on every level. As the convocation opens today at 10 AM, the exhibit floor, demo rooms, special events and more will all offer the opportunity for attendees to connect to their industry like never before.
Using those words as this year's theme, the exhibit floor is a true confluence of companies whose pro audio technologies and gear connect the world together, allowing people to communicate through audio reproduction or reinforcement. Whether aimed at recording, post-production, game audio or live sound, equipment found and introduced here can change, update, improve or even reinvent your business. With roughly 400 exhibitors on the show floor, too, every sector of pro audio is present and accounted for, running the gamut from tried-and-true solutions that have been around for sometimes decades, to bleeding-edge technologies that may well become the industry standards of tomorrow.
Meanwhile the workshops, papers and tech tours presented at the AES Convention, too, are designed to help attendees make the right connections. Sitting in on a panel, a special event or a lecture provides an opportunity to learn new concepts and groundbreaking theories, revealing new links between audio ideas and segments of the pro audio marketplace. Likewise, taking in a historical program or discovering new technologies in a seminar can connect attendees to the inspiring past and sometimes jaw-dropping future of pro audio.
And then there's the real-world connections made by shaking a hand, asking the pertinent question, and sealing a deal--the personal interaction that a computer keyboard can't provide. As the biggest pro audio-only event in North America, AES is unquestionably the place 'where it happens'--where exhibitors meet their customers face-to-face, hearing their concerns and concepts, and can work with them to find solutions. For attendees, it's the chance to see the face behind a favorite product used daily, to pick the mind of its creators and discover new approaches that can improve their work. Try getting that level of "social networking" on a computer screen.
As the weekend progresses, the 125th AES Convention will offer plenty of chances for attendees and exhibitors alike to connect; the only difficulty will be to make the most of each opportunity before 4PM on Sunday comes along.