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3,600 attend AES 128

"We're still collating visitor data, but it seems that we had over 3,600 visitors to the Convention over four days, which we're pleased with, given the economic climate," said AES executive director Roger Furness.

Attendance information for the recent AES European Convention has begun to emerge, reports PSN-e. Taking place at the Novotel in Hammersmith, London, from 22-25 May, AES 128 marked the European convention’s first edition in London for 23 years.

Roger Furness, the AES’s executive director (pictured here, right, with papers chairman Peter Mapp and convention chairman Josh Reiss), highlighted the convenient location of the exhibition facility and a strong programme of seminars and presentations in explaining the encouraging response to this year’s event, which attracted nearly the same number of visitors as the 2009 European convention.

“We’re still collating visitor data, but it seems that we had over 3,600 visitors to the Convention over four days, which we’re pleased with, given the economic climate,” said Furness. “The Exhibition Hall, though reflecting the challenging state of the audio industry we’ve experienced throughout 2009 and 2010 so far, [was] particularly busy with visitors from the UK, mainland Europe, the Americas and the Far East on Sunday and Monday, and the Conference sessions upstairs were packed to ‘standing-room only’ capacity from the Saturday morning right through until well after the Convention was supposed to have closed on Tuesday 25 May.”

Loudness and EBU broadcasting recommendations were among the hot topics on the technical presentation schedule, while Phil Harding, Masataka Goto, Andy Bradfield, Jon Kelly, George Massenburg and Chuck Ainlay were among the star speakers. AES visitors were also able to see Sir George Martin receiving an Honorary Membership from the organisation and participate in organised tours of EMI’s sound archives, British Grove Studios and the London Science Museum. The event was also supported for the first time by a series of official podcasts, which can be downloaded at the link below.

Regarding the dates and location of the next European event, it’s a case of watch-and-wait for now, as Furness explained: “We’re currently gathering feedback from visitors and exhibitors about what worked and what didn’t in Hammersmith. The question at present is whether the Convention continues to circulate around European cities or whether it remains in London next year. That will depend to some extent on how our exhibitors view the prospects for the market over the coming months, and whether we might need a larger venue next year. However, we should be in a position to make an announcement on next year’s European Convention within the next couple of months, and more information will be available at then.”