Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳

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AmpDesigner333

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Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #20 on: 21 May 2020, 11:16 pm »
Now that the thread has devolved into who is a moron and who isn't, and who is the bigger moron, can the Intergalactic Wastebin be far off?

There is a nice way to make almost any point, but it seems to be increasingly a lost art.
I agree that simply "being nice" is lees common these days.  However, all but one member on this thread has been cordial.

On THAT note, I'm still very interested in everyone's thoughts on this topic.  I've been telling people trade shows may fade into the past, and not just in audio.  Seems many audiophiles really enjoy them, so it's sad to see what some shows, like AXPONA, have been doing to their customers (exhibitors).  We should add THAT into this conversation.  The Munich show was cancelled, and they refunded their exhibitors 100%.  Classy.  AXPONA, on the other hand....

Early B.

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #21 on: 21 May 2020, 11:29 pm »
On THAT note, I'm still very interested in everyone's thoughts on this topic.  I've been telling people trade shows may fade into the past, and not just in audio.  Seems many audiophiles really enjoy them, so it's sad to see what some shows, like AXPONA, have been doing to their customers (exhibitors).  We should add THAT into this conversation.  The Munich show was cancelled, and they refunded their exhibitors 100%.  Classy.  AXPONA, on the other hand....

What's the motivation for you as an exhibitor to attend an audio show? It's very expensive and time consuming, so what's the payoff? My guess is that only a small percentage of sales result from exhibiting. There must be other tangible benefits such as making connections, getting "free" advertising, testing new products, etc. Is it one of those scenarios where exhibiting provides you with intangibles such as credibility and visibility? Would your business have grown just as quickly had you not participated in any shows? 


witchdoctor

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #22 on: 22 May 2020, 12:36 am »
Think about buying a car, lets say second hand for $10K. I suppose you could order it off EBAY but there is something about a test drive. Now you get into the SOA system that Tommy exhibited about a year ago, I think we are into 6 figures, you really can't get that experience at a dealer or any place other than a show IMO. Now why would I want to experience a SOA system that I can never afford at a show. Well the obvious answer it to get blown away. The less than obvious answer is it helps me set a bar of what is possible. When I get back home I look, I listen, and WANT to get back to that experience at the show. The real beauty of this hobby is I can add one "piece" at a time.
My first show shaped my journey to this day. I listened to a particular brand of speakers and the marketing guy told me the best speaker the company made was an active one that wasn't even at the show. If the demo speakers rocked my world I wanted the BEST they ever made and took the guys advice. I now have a 16.1 home theater and still use the speakers that guy recommended at the show (and am still enjoying every day). I would say the show instilled confidence to COMMIT a large amount of capital in a direction that I was still second guessing.


stlrman

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #23 on: 22 May 2020, 03:44 am »
A few points . What percentage of audiophiles actually go to shows ? I would think a very small percentage.
I’ve been only to one show , to pick up my set of speakers .
People are talking really loud in the rooms ! Even the people running the rooms . There was few chances to sit in the sweet spot . Playing shit Jazz, the same shit in nearly every room. Snobby uptight people everywhere.
95 thousand dollars of electronics pushing 4 thousand dollar speakers . Then you purchase the speakers and they are going to sound like shit with you $1200 amp.
Shitty rooms , with zero care to put in room corrections .
And if you are interested in an amplifier , how the hell can you really tell what it sounds like ??! With 20 variable .
I think many people get great info from forums , buy used , try em out in your own room , if you don’t like em, sell them for a small loss or no loss.
One show was enough for me .  Would never do another show . No thanks !

Woodsage

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Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #24 on: 22 May 2020, 04:08 am »
A few points . What percentage of audiophiles actually go to shows ? I would think a very small percentage.
I’ve been only to one show , to pick up my set of speakers .
People are talking really loud in the rooms ! Even the people running the rooms . There was few chances to sit in the sweet spot . Playing shit Jazz, the same shit in nearly every room. Snobby uptight people everywhere.
95 thousand dollars of electronics pushing 4 thousand dollar speakers . Then you purchase the speakers and they are going to sound like shit with you $1200 amp.
Shitty rooms , with zero care to put in room corrections .
And if you are interested in an amplifier , how the hell can you really tell what it sounds like ??! With 20 variable .
I think many people get great info from forums , buy used , try em out in your own room , if you don’t like em, sell them for a small loss or no loss.
One show was enough for me .  Would never do another show . No thanks !

You can give it to us straight stilman, no need to candy-coat it!  :lol:

Wind Chaser

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #25 on: 22 May 2020, 04:54 am »
Right on Todd, many good points. Although I think you can actually buy a pretty damn good amplifier for $1200.  :D

Photon46

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #26 on: 22 May 2020, 10:38 am »
A few points . What percentage of audiophiles actually go to shows ? I would think a very small percentage.
I’ve been only to one show , to pick up my set of speakers .
People are talking really loud in the rooms ! Even the people running the rooms . There was few chances to sit in the sweet spot . Playing shit Jazz, the same shit in nearly every room. Snobby uptight people everywhere.
95 thousand dollars of electronics pushing 4 thousand dollar speakers . Then you purchase the speakers and they are going to sound like shit with you $1200 amp.
Shitty rooms , with zero care to put in room corrections .
And if you are interested in an amplifier , how the hell can you really tell what it sounds like ??! With 20 variable .
I think many people get great info from forums , buy used , try em out in your own room , if you don’t like em, sell them for a small loss or no loss.
One show was enough for me .  Would never do another show . No thanks !

While I respect your point of view I have to say that going to one show does not give you a broad enough perspective to pass judgement on all shows. I can tell you the Florida Audio Expo in Tampa avoids some of the pitfalls you describe. The hotel it uses was once a condo and its construction and acoustic properties are better than the average hotel room. In rooms where speakers were appropriately sized to the room the sound was quite like you'd hear in a domestic space. While there is some tendency to play the same stuff too frequently, it's not as bad as you describe in the show you went to. As to "snobby uptight people," that definitely does not describe the vibe in Tampa during the days I've been there over the last two shows. Your point about loud talking is a problem during the busiest times, the best tactic is to get there early and know what you want to listen too.

RonN5

Future Audio Shows Yes or No
« Reply #27 on: 22 May 2020, 12:22 pm »
Myself...I think trade shows, audio shows and the like will be back...but not quite sure when.

Nevertheless, there are a few questions:

1.  Do the exhibitors think that the investment they make results in increased sales?

2.  Will you as an attendee feel safe assuming everyone is required to wear a mask and the rooms all have people at the door controlling the total number of people in the room at one time?

A lot is going to be learned and revealed over the next 6 months.  We've already heard that it seems far less likely that covid spreads by touch.  And we've heard that early studies say that sufficient levels of vitamin d are somewhat protective.

So....maybe all future audio shows will be in sunny areas....maybe everyone will have to wear an n95 or equivalent mask....maybe exhibitors will bring their own uv or other filtration systems to their rooms.

I live in Florida...go to home depot or lowes and they are crowded...and maybe only slightly less than the Florida Audio show.  By this time next year, I'm guessing we will have been through the 3rd wave of covid rebounds with each infecting progressively fewer people and that a lot of the world will have returned to a new normal that will be slightly different than the old normal...but with more masks, more hand washing and more overall awareness of staying healthy.

Final point/question:  Would I go to the Tampa show next year...as of right now, knowing what we know....90% yes...and I expect that number will likely go up as each month ticks by.

ServerAdmin

Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!!
« Reply #28 on: 23 May 2020, 04:37 am »
Folks, please keep the discussion focussed on the trade show aspect of the topic. Thank you.

This is still an audio site

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EkW

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Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #29 on: 23 May 2020, 03:45 pm »
One of the benefits of the shows is the potential for favorable coverage on various websites, esp. for small companies without much of an ad budget. A good write-up stays available to searches for a long time.  With luck, maybe a few sales are made and some one takes time to post a nice review that generates a bit more interest. I have a pair of speakers on order from a tiny company with a rather poor website. The owner has been to a couple of shows and was disappointed at the lack of sales. But, his room got plenty of positive comments from fairly well known people that went beyond the usual satisfied buyer testimonials. That coverage lead me to contacting the company and ordering speakers that I have not heard in person. So his show presence DID generate at least one sale as well as some perpetual low level publicity. The owner seems satisfied with the sales generated by word of mouth and the small web presence and won't be doing any more shows but one show a few years ago can influence purchases of both new and used equipment as buyers do their internet research because there are so few hifi shops.

RonN5

Trade Shows Still Have A Place
« Reply #30 on: 23 May 2020, 03:59 pm »
I don't know if shows are worth it...I definitely think they create an energy that results in attendees being much more likely to buy something...and I think there is another aspect of shows that shouldn't be overlooked...partnerships.

Take a look at Spatial Audio...the Distributors section...these are guys that Clayton has partnered with...they like his products, he likes their products and one of the ways they get to know each other is through working together at shows.

Another example...Tekton Design...in the interview I've linked below, Eric specifically says that his products sound great when powered by Parasound...I'm pretty sure this relationship started at RMAF about two years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vveGC9HaXG0

At the end of the day, it is visibility that helps to create credibility that allows a company to not only have more sales but garner a selling price that is beyond cost plus a few percent.

WGH

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #31 on: 23 May 2020, 04:36 pm »
It is hard to find audio show attendance numbers, so far I have only found attendance numbers for the 2013 RMAF. Even if 3,759 seems low, the amount of press and social media coverage probably multiples that number by 100 worldwide and makes it possible for small manufacturers to survive.
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=120722.0

2013 RMAF
Attendees:
20 Countries and 41 States
Total                                                                            3,759
Industry                                                                             7%
Military                                                                               1%
Students                                                                            6%
Seniors                                                                             12%
Standard                                                                         74%
 
Exhibitors:
26 Countries and 42 States
Total Exhibitors                                                       1,196
Total Companies                                                        440
Total Products Listed Online:                                545


Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio has a good write up on why audio shows matter
https://www.pacificaudiofest.com/about-us

" Today one of the only ways that someone can actually hear the different choices is at a consumer audio show. These shows have become a very necessary part of the audiophile world and have also broadened and enriched our community. I am amazed at how many warm friendships I have found and sustained in these shows the last two decades. I do not want to give that up to a virtual world, doing so would diminish my life and take away much of what makes this hobby special for me. In my world the love of music and the connections with people are very much intertwined."

"Some manufacturers have a substantial percentage of customers who buy based just on reputation, reviews and word of mouth. But if we had to rely on only that then I doubt many would survive."


RonN5

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #32 on: 23 May 2020, 04:43 pm »
And, having never heard a Daedalus Audio product until this year at the Florida Audio show...I'd say that given how great they looked and beautiful they sounded...they would have to be on my list of "gotta own a pair of these some day"...and because of the show, that list just keeps getting longer.

SFDude

Re: Steven Stone says audio trade shows are GONE!! 😳
« Reply #33 on: 23 May 2020, 06:16 pm »
As much as Audio shows are about hearing all the great gear and equipment and software in one place, it is also in large part about the Audiophile Community at large, having places where we can actually meet together in one spot and share our love and passion about all things Audio. So yes, audio shows are important for not only the exhibitors, manufacturers and retailers, they are also a fabric of helping keep this community physically in touch with each other, away from the anonymity of audio and chat forums.

-dave