VIENNA: The busy aisles and positive atmosphere of the 122nd AES Convention - held at the Austria Center Vienna earlier this month - were complemented by an array of historic company or product anniversaries that served to reinforce the buoyant health of the business represented by the event. Appropriately enough for a host country that last year celebrated the quarter-millennium of Mozart, the septet of anniversaries collectively represented 250 years of pro-audio history, writes David Davies.
Show statistics issued yesterday revealed a turnout of approximately 5,450 attendees and 800 full programme participants at the four-day event. Encouragingly, visitors on the whole spent more time at the convention, while the visitor breakdown revealed a strong (15%) share of participants from Eastern European countries.
"Basically, a lot of our visitors came from the host country and neighbouring countries," explained Thierry Bergmans, exhibition manager of the European AES Convention. "This year we saw the trend extend to Eastern European countries. After all, for these visitors, travelling to this convention was easier than ever."
Back the anniversary celebrations, and it was AKG, DK-Technologies, Neumann, Sennheiser, Sonosax, PSI Audio and Fraunhofer IIS who were highlighting major company or product anniversaries.
The birthday list was headed by AKG, which this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding by Dr. Rudolf Goerike and Ernst Pless. Sonosax and PSI Audio both marked their 30th anniversaries, while DK-Technologies acknowledged its 20th.
Elsewhere, Sennheiser marked 50 years of its wireless microphones, Neumann discussed the four-decade history of the classic U87 microphone, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS reflected on 20 years of audio coding progress.
The cluster of anniversaries, says AES president Wieslaw Woszczyk, offers "testament to the enduring innovation of the professional audio business. All of these companies or organisations are continuing to innovate and progress, and at a time when the rate of change is arguably greater than ever before. It will be fascinating to see what they achieve in the next decade and beyond."
Looking ahead, the 123rd AES Convention is scheduled to take place in New York from October 5th to 8th. Back in Europe, the 124th AES Pro Audio Expo & Convention is set for the RAI in Amsterdam from May 17th to 20th, 2008.
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