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-flowing—a 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.

Steve's picture

Where is rue St Catherine's? I heard that that's where the best stereo stores are.

Fathead's picture

@SteveI would guess it is in Montreal Canada. It you want a more precise location, you should look up this great website called Google. Specifically Google Maps.Good luck!

JF's picture

Being a Montrealer, I would say that the best stereo stores are not on St-Catherine's street. Take a look at the website of the following well known Montreal Hi-Fi stores: Coup de Foudre Audio, Filtronique and Fillion Electronique. PLease note that these stores might be closed due to the SSI show (they'll have rooms at the show). Good luck!

François Caron's picture

The hotel's layout should have been easy to figure out, yet I still managed to get lost on the very first day! :)BTW, I have a new camcorder and microphone set-up. This year's production of my SSI video should at the very least sound much better than the previous two years.This year, I'll be asking some on-camera questions to a few of the exhibitors in order to find out how everyone is doing business-wise, and what they believe will happen in the coming year. I would also like to record the point of view of the Stereophile staff if you all don't mind.Have a good show!

Nick's picture

Steve, don't be surprised if I come up and say hello.

Nick's picture

and I did after the brilliant but alas too short Stereophile panel Q&A.