Los Angeles, CA (October 14, 2014)—As the AES Convention rolled into its last day on Sunday, there was feeling of success in the air. The annual convocation's return to Los Angeles after a dozen years had been greeted with open arms by the region's pro audio community-and that's a lot of arms. As AES executive director noted Saturday afternoon, "With more than 15,000 attendees registered so far, and a day to go, this is officially the best-attended West Coast convention in AES history."
While the convention garnered a record number of attendees, there was been a lot going on at the four-day event for visitors to take in. Moses pointed out, "The standing-room-only crowd for Thursday's opening ceremonies and keynote, along with packed technical program sessions all day, were a predictor of the flood of attendees Friday as the exhibit floor opened, carrying on into today. The exhibitor aisles are crowded, the Project Studio Expo and Live Sound Expo Exhibits-Plus sessions are drawing attendees to their exhibits floor stages, and the technical program sessions are still packed. What's already been an awesome convention is up to full steam!"
That the aisles were packed all Friday and most of Saturday was no secret; it took a while to get around through the crowds actually, but it was a welcome nuisance. Much as AES had finally come back to Los Angeles, in the larger picture, the AES Convention itself had come back, too. There were more exhibitors this year than in the 2013 New York edition-something that's never happened in the history of the Convention-and 11,806 people pre-registered for the four-day convocation. What makes that number particularly impressive is that it does not include the badges of exhibitors, manufacturer reps or the 130 student volunteers on-site. In fact, the final day of pre-registration set a West Coast single-day record with 1,327 people signing up for the Convention. That, in turn, made the 11,806 pre-reg the largest ever for an AES Convention on the West Coast.
It was an achievement that didn't go unnoticed. Kicking off his lunchtime keynote on Friday, The Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow remarked, "Congratulations on the huge success of the AES Convention. Times haven't been so wonderful, so the fact that we are at the point with our economy and in general that you can have a record attendance for a convention like this is really great news."
Many of the 308 exhibitors on-hand were upbeat about the strong turnout. "We're seeing a lot of traffic in the booth today; people are looking at our new PSM 300, so we're happy to see the excitement and enthusiasm," said Cheryl Jennison Daproza, media relations specialist for Shure.
Across the aisle, Jay Easley, vice president of Live Consoles in the Americas for Solid State Logic, offered, "The show's going well, once again; AES is always great to be at for Solid State Logic. We've got recording, a little broadcast, we've got the live consoles, so it's been good-very busy."
The convention was a hit for attendees as well, attending seminars, panels and workshops, eyeballing gear and catching up with the rest of the industry. Ken "Pooch" Van Druten, FOH engineer for Linkin Park, made a point of visiting the convention, even though he was in the middle of rehearsals for the Brazilian leg of the band's world tour: "Mainly I'm here to say hi to a bunch of friends and manufacturers that I work with-Waves, Rupert Neve, some of those guys that I don't get to see all the time. And keep my head in what's new and what's going on-you're always wondering what's going on in Avid Land; always something new and crazy over there."
If you missed out, keep an eye towards next year when the 139th AES Convention will be held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, October 29-November 1, 2015.