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There is a circuit of international exhibitions and conferences around the world and a select (and largely the same it has to be said) cluster of lucky folk get to go to most of them. And they are lucky. Aside for picking up early trends on technology and its application and tuning into sales and marketing initiatives that give strong pointers for industry directions, exhibition/conference gatherings are massive opportunities to meet, greet and make friends and acquaintances. There are various measures for show success but some use the number of business cards handed out to people they have met for the first time as an important indicator. It’s a good one because while you may well be meeting complete strangers often most of the important exchanges are with customers or suppliers that you know of and may even do business with but have never actually met in person before.
The problem with international shows is that they are expensive to attend by all parties and that means that most people don’t go. I have long believed that a large chunk of the audio business hardly ever gets out to a trade show and, if they do, then it’s to one with the merest whiff of sound in an event that is targeted by the exhibition organisers at bigger and newer market sectors.
For all the internationalisation, globalisation and the suggested shrinking of the world, I think it's interesting that there is still a demand for and an appreciation of local and targeted events for those who can’t travel with the exhibition circus and those who aren’t represented in the audio side salad of the larger cross-disciplinary events.
SoundPro, as a low-key local get-together for manufacturers, suppliers and end-users, was introduced several years ago by the Institute of Professional Sound (IPS) and we have now got behind the idea and taken on the staging and management for this year’s event which will be held at Ealing Town Hall, London on Saturday 26 September. It will be a proper table-top exhibition that concentrates on the two things that really matter – the people and the gear. And it will be audio-only. Add in some presentations by the IPS and you have the makings of a grand day out among people who share your passion and interest for sound. We look forward to seeing you there.
Zenon Schoepe. Executive Editor


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