The Montreal Show: Day One
The big news at this years Festival Son & Image (FSI, aka "The Montreal Show") was the change in venue. After many years at the Delta Hotel in downtown Montreal, the Show moved this year to another downtown hotel, the Sheraton Montreal.
I have a certain fondness for the Delta, but not for their elevators, which worked according to a mysterious logic of their own. The Sheraton was a considerable improvement in this respect, and seemed generally more upscale—yet the rates for exhibitors were about the same. The rooms at the Sheraton are generally a bit smaller than at the Delta, but the exhibitors I talked to seemed pleased with the facilities.
A major advantage this year was that the entire show could be accommodated in the one hotel; during the "Delta years," the Show spilled over to the hotel across the street. The Montreal weather in late March and early April tends to be on the cold side, so running across the street to the other part of the show was not a lot of fun.
The Montreal Show started out as an audio enthusiast show, and while this is still the main thrust, this year I noticed a considerable broadening of the exhibitor base. There were more MP3 products on display, including the Oakley sunglasses, which incorporate a flash-drive MP3 player and earphones, $359 in the 256MB version. (Unless otherwise noted, all prices listed in this report are C$.) I just had to try them on. Arnold Schwarzenegger, eat your heart out.