by Steve Harvey.
New York (October 9, 2009)–This past year, under the auspices of outgoing AES president Jim Anderson, the Society has made great strides in connecting its membership and attracting new members through the implementation of a number of significant initiatives.
“I always chuckle about the fact that I’ve taken the society and dragged it kicking and screaming into either the late 20th or the early 21st century with our exploits into social networking–Twitter and Facebook,” says Anderson, as his term draws to a close.
An award-winning recording engineer and producer who is a professor in the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University and was the chair of the department for four years, Anderson is in constant contact with a generation that has grown up with social networking. “This is how they communicate,” he observes. “In fact, it’s how many of my friends and I communicate.”
As a result of the networking initiatives implemented on Anderson’s watch, society members are much more connected than ever before. “We’ve been working very hard to accomplish that and make the society more vital to members,” he says. Currently, there are approximately 4,000 student members, plus 10,000 full or associate members.
As AES president, Anderson has continued the society’s work to increase its appeal. “Over the past six years, roughly, we’ve been slowly expanding the technical program. If you look at the technical program 10 years ago, we are probably doing two or three times more than in those years, and finding that the technical program is equally as important to the members of the society as the exhibition floor.”
In the run up to the 127th AES Convention in New York, the society’s website underwent a major overhaul and, in mid-September, the ability to download the convention program schedule to an iPhone, BlackBerry or other device went live. “We tried to make it as ‘platform agnostic’ as possible,” says Anderson. “This is the first convention where we’ve been able to do that. It took our webmaster a little bit of time, but I said, ‘if we get this right, it will be so valuable to all the upcoming conventions and conferences that it will be money well spent.’”