A Party Atmosphere
From the perspective of an attendee, Salon Son & Image 2010 may be the ideal hi-fi show. While the Hilton Bonadventure is a massive, sprawling location, the exhibitor rooms on the main floor are clearly marked and easily identifiable by a specific color referred to in the official show guide: There are green, purple, red, and blue halls, all with pleasant lighting made to match. In the green hall, just around the corner from my own room, we find Audio D’Occasion, Cardas Audio, Hathor Acoustik, Joseph Audio, Sensational Musicale, and Verity Audio.
One hall leads seamlessly to the next, so that if you walk in a straight line, you will inevitably encounter every exhibitor room on the main floor. An escalator then leads down to larger convention rooms where we find popular Canadian dealers such as Audio Basics and Coup de Foudre, vinyl suppliers Aux 33 Tours, and familiar names such as Dynaudio, Simaudio, Sennheiser, and Sony. Just outside the Sony display is where I ran into SSI manager, Michel Plante. I expressed my enthusiasm for the show’s intuitive layout.
“We wanted to create a party atmosphere,” he told me, “to avoid a dry experience.” Indeed, moving through the halls of SSI 2010 is similar to walking through a dance club, new music to be heard at every turn. I asked Plante if he was concerned about hindering the overall quality of sound due to music leaking from one room to the next.
“Nothing is perfect,” he said, “but when we attempted to separate some exhibitors, they declined, preferring to be closer together.” Presumably, the decision to bunch rooms together will keep show traffic high and ever-flowinga move that should make just about everyone happy.
In addition, the doors to exhibitors’ rooms have been stamped with “Enter” labels, matching the color of their particular hall. “We wanted to encourage a warm, welcoming feeling,” Plante said.
Mission accomplished, I’d say.