Bob Moses, the executive director of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), has a lot to be excited about these days. First up, thanks to AES efforts to expand its reach amongst media professionals, our industry is on the brink of a new, powerhouse convention experience: the upcoming 143rd AES Convention in New York City, co-located with The NAB Show New York 2017. The shows remain independent, but the organizations have collaborated to allow attendees who register for either event to attend both adjacent exhibition floors.
“Our co-location with NAB brings twice the number of people and companies to our annual gathering, with an expanded reach into the media production and distribution business through the NAB community,” beams Moses. “This is a step-function change to what has been a very solid and steadily growing AES convention, and we’re hanging on for the ride as we transition into a much bigger and better event. Broadcast and streaming, as usual, is a big topic at our convention; virtual-and augmented reality are also huge. Hundreds of sessions, in total, will cover all aspects of professional audio. We will continue to build an even larger and more important event alongside our friends at NAB, as AES returns to New York for our annual U.S. convention in 2018.”
For this year’s New York edition, however, the AES is also upping the ante on its rich content demonstrations, banking on past reports and observations that members and other convention attendees gain a lot from in-person tutorials, tips and mentoring sessions. “One of the most important benefits of coming to an AES event is the opportunity to experience new technologies and products hands-on,” Moses says. “You can only do so much online. Thus, we have innovated several new ways to bring people, companies and gear together. The ‘Expo’ stages on our exhibit floor have a full schedule of presentations, with a focus on best practices and ‘how-to’s.’ These sessions balance the scientific and educational workshops, tutorials and research presentations in the full All-Access Technical Program. About 80 percent of our attendees are end-users and manufacturers, so this is an extremely important aspect of the show.”
Meanwhile, on the west coast, AES’s “AES@NAMM—Pro Sound Symposium: Live & Studio” initiative helps the society reach into a broader group of potential AES members and pro-audio end users. “AES@NAMM evolved from the idea that organizations like AES and NAMM should work together for the good of their respective—and shared—stakeholder groups,” explains Moses. “NAMM is the center of the universe in the Musical Instrument (MI) world, and they recognize that AES is the authority on professional audio. The market and many manufacturers straddle pro and MI. Bringing AES’s pro-audio education and training expertise to Anaheim at NAMM time, in the form of paid, educational workshops, offers a 2018 west coast venue for professional audio training for live and studio production. AES@NAMM attendees will have access to the NAMM exhibition floor, which will, in turn, increase local end-user traffic for our pro-audio manufacturer friends. This collaboration makes so much sense from an attendee and exhibitor standpoint, and we’re excited that we found a way to work together and make it a win/win for everyone. This event demonstrates just how dedicated AES is to evolve and adapt, building upon our already successful event portfolio and finding more ways to serve more people in more places.”
Illustrating that point, even innovations in interactive automotive audio are within the purview of the AES. “Automotive audio is very important, even causing large, titan companies to merge recently. Our scientific conference on the subject will take place in on the west coast this fall, with participation from a who’s who list of companies and researchers.”
Moses notes that AES is constantly looking for new ways to serve its members, no matter where they are and how they work. “The era of accessing information and working in front of a desktop computer is almost over as we move to mobile platforms for communications and accessing information,” he reflects. “This requires streamlining the interface to our E-Library, AES Live video library and other member benefits in ways that work faster and on smaller screens. Given that we have thousands of assets in our member portal—papers, standards, videos, etcetera—this is a tremendous undertaking, but it will keep AES sharp and focused on current needs. It’s key that we further engage younger people to come in and make their mark, and we have the world’s smartest and most active student community making tremendous contributions.”
This includes AES’s ongoing development of more collaboration tools for its members. “We are evolving AES Membership service to focus on our most valuable assets: educational resources, research, best practice videos and so on. We are creating a new Member Portal that will allow members to connect and collaborate with each other through themed months and guest curators. Young people, especially, are resonating with these changes and, long term, I expect AES will become a global forum that thrives on educational and technology events, with the information coming out of these events made available to members real time (livestreamed), or recorded (E-Library and AES Live videos). AES is way more than just a club—AES is where the edge of innovation lives, and the place to meet other leaders, young and old.
On the horizon, Moses and his colleagues at the AES are planning a bevy of great events for current and future members, being held in locales around the world and covering an expansive list of topics. “We have a conference on Sound Reinforcement in Denmark the first weekend of September , and several other conferences in Europe in 2018,” Moses notes. “Our European Convention in Milan, Italy in May 2018 will benefit from the tremendous base of loudspeaker and power amp manufacturers in the region, coupled with our thriving community of European researchers driving the Technical Program. We will have a presence at a Chinese transducer components event in October as part of our initiative to expand our membership in China. I’m looking forward to exploring how AES can better serve the entire world.”
Audio Engineering Society