T.H.E. Show 2022 Begins in Long Beach

In just a few minutes as I write these words, T.H.E. Show returns for another installment at the Long Beach Hilton. Rumored to offer approximately 40 exhibit rooms plus untold stands in the Marketplace and Headphonium, it has drawn exhibitors from all over the United States and beyond.

One positive sign: After several years of dueling Southern CA audio shows, the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society (LAOCAS) has finally invited its huge membership to enjoy T.H.E. Show. Along with the 11th-hour invite came a $5 show admission discount for society members.

Belated or not, it's a welcome show of unity in an industry that has been struggling to meet increased demand for product during an era of unprecedented parts shortages. How LAOCAS's endorsement will affect attendance remains to be seen. But if it's any indication, T.H.E. Show's guest room allotment in the Hilton is entirely sold out. Success is something T.H.E. Show's management most certainly deserves, given that they persevered under extreme conditions to stage one of the few US audio shows last year.

The effects of the pandemic are still felt. Some people are masked, others unmasked, and still others pretending to be masked by covering their mouths only. The Starbucks in the lobby is on curtailed hours, lacking staff, and room service somehow forgot to install a shower curtain in my bathroom. The irony of sloshing around on the bathroom floor in a state that's suffering a frightening water shortage was not lost.

But, hey, it's a show. And from the looks of it, it's going to be a good one. It's time to hit the floors. With 20 hours remaining to cover rooms over three days, and many more days of post-show reports, there's a lot to look forward to.

On with T.H.E. Show!