AES Convention Postponed

As a result of the terrorist attacks last week, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) has decided to postpone its AES 111th Convention until November 30. The annual audio event, which was to have been held this week in Manhattan at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, will now be held Friday, November 30–Monday, December 3, 2001. The AES says that the convention will use the same exhibit, demo, and conference space as would have been used next week.

The AES' Roger Furness said the change of dates had gone over well. "The support of the industry has been unquestionable. As you can imagine, the phone is ringing off the hook, and we've had 500 emails, all offering support and thanking us for making a fast, but careful, decision. It seems we were able to make the best decision possible in a bad situation.

"The reaction we had from manufacturers was overwhelming support. We took the measure to actually contact each of the exhibitors by phone. The exhibitors are the ones who are affected the most at this very moment, because they're loading trucks to send equipment; we needed to get through to them fast."

Furness adds that, while postponing the convention to a later date has provided the industry with time to move on and implement new plans before the convention, it was also a necessity. "The New York City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have taken over large portions of the Javits Center for use in coordinating emergency services. FEMA will have complete control of that space, and any other that it needs, for an undetermined period."

Furness noted that, while the venue and internal space will be the same, there will be unavoidable changes to some programs, workshops, and papers to be presented at the convention: "We hope that we'll be able to hold almost all of the workshops and papers intact. We've contacted the authors and we'll be contacting as many of the others as we can. Undoubtedly there will be individual people who were already scheduled to go to something else and can't change, but I hope we can hold most of the event intact."

Although New York City itself is still tense, the AES says it is confident that the resulting rise in security around the city and its airports will help make the AES Convention an incident-free event.