Too Many Audio Shows? Sarah Tremblay, SSI

A Response from Sarah Tremblay, SSI, Montreal

Like any other industry, the more direct contact you have with the public, the better it is to awake awareness on your specialty. Dealer shows are very good and necessary, even if in most case they reach a limited number of their already established customers. Consumer Regional Shows are playing a different role, as you know; beside the very positive influence on the spirit of the industry members, they allow manufacturers to find new dealers or distributors, they allow the loyal customers of store X to look and listen to what store Y has to offer, they allow new brands to be discovered, they allow reviewers to find products to review as well as editors to discuss advertising with manufacturers. When well promoted, they attract hundreds of new customers that are not high performance audio's aficionados.

Are there too many shows, too many magazines, too many bloggers, too many manufacturers, or just not enough brick-and-mortar stores?! Until our industry learns how to promote itself, there will be a perception that there are too many of all of this. Is there room for more shows? Absolutely not. Should we reduce the numbers of shows? Not necessarily, if they all find their own niche— most of the shows are, year after year, at the same time, in the same city while others are playing "yoyo" with dates and cities, which is what has disturbed a peaceful industry. Exhibitors might have to put their foot down and request that certain show starts to respect them.

Besides the world is changing and the audio business as well, manufacturers and the media should consider to create new position in their business and allocate some resources strictly for shows, while eliminating positions that are obsolete. This way, the show organizers will still be able to maintain the best platform to develop their business.—Sarah Tremblay, Salon Son & Image / Montreal Hi-Fi Show

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