The next AES Convention will be held 26-29 April at the Budapest Congress & World Trade Centre, Hungary, writes Mel Lambert.
According to the society’s new president, Jan Abildgaard Pedersen, the four-day gathering will be accompanied by a three-day commercial exhibition that will adopt a dramatically different format from previous events. “There will be no traditional exhibition,” Abildgaard Pedersen confirms in an exclusive interview with PSNE. “Instead, we will organise a series of table-top demonstrations of new technologies from the R&D departments of small- to medium-sized companies, in addition to demo rooms for larger companies needing more space.” He predicts that at least 100 companies will book exhibit space at the upcoming convention.
The new strategy, Abildgaard Pedersen stresses, results from a realisation that the European audio community is unique in its requirements. “In Europe we have a large community of scientists that come to AES Conventions to examine new technologies,” he says. “Such attendees can offer qualified, highly-targeted feedback to companies developing new products and processes for our community.”
Likening this valuable feedback to a peer-review process, Pederson also considers such an exhibition format will be more cost-effective for smaller companies. Factoring in construction, travel and shipping costs, “a conventional booth might be too expensive,” he continues. “This way, companies can use a portion of their R&D budget to fund a more focused presence at European Conventions.” Chair of the Budapest Convention Planning Committee is Janos Gyori, head of the AES Hungarian Section.
“Our way forward requires a commitment to transparency and openness,” the new AES president emphasises. “We need to determine the best way that the AES can utilise the gold we have in our hands,” he offers, referring to the high calibre of scientific rigour within the society. “Collaboration is the way forward; we need to ensure that our conventions serve the interests of attendees and exhibitors alike.” Abildgaard Pedersen confirms that the technical programme of papers, workshops and related events will remain unchanged for the Budapest convention.
As reported in the May issue, Colin Broad of CB Electronics decided to take a pass on the London Convention earlier this year, but favoured a gathering in Eastern Europe. “For a number of years I have been a strong advocate of exhibiting in the Eastern Bloc,” he confirms. “CB Electronics will almost certainly be at Budapest. We have some customers there and it will make an excellent opportunity to cement relations and meet new customers.”