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AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

AXPONA 2022: Back To Business
Audio Expo North America 2022 Show Report
Show Report By Greg Weaver



  For such incorrigible audio junkies as yours truly, to see this nearly three-year-long dearth of audio shows finally abating is not just exciting, I'm being dealt a renewed lease on my audio life. This lockdown has been so unnatural and so difficult. We are first and foremost a community, and we need to be together to celebrate our passion for, and love of, music. I've been SO ready for this unhealthy situation to loosen up and get social again, especially after attending Gray Gill's outrageously successful Capital Audiofest 2021 this past November, that the yearning has only been building.

And so last weekend, after the Covid-19 Pandemic and its associated lockdowns had precluded the 2020 and 2021 events, after fully three years, the Renaissance Convention Center Hotel in Schaumburg, IL, opened its doors to us as JDEvents launched a rousing comeback event, Audio eXPO North America (AXPONA) 2022.



What has over the past half-decade become the largest and most internationally significant audio show in the United States, AXPONA, with over 500 exhibitors and brands this year, welcomed 7,596 unique participants – including considerably more ladies than I would have had any reason to expect, with some 98 members of the press, roving like sailors on their first shore-leave after three years at sea, with a voracious appetite intent on covering this event in all its glory. The two live music events showed record attendance, with two hundred twenty attendees catching Chicago bluesman Toronzo Cannon's set Friday evening and over three hundred attending Capitol artist Lori Lieberman's event Saturday. My sincere thanks to Liz Smith, Vice President, and Event Director of AXPONA for JDEvents, for these numbers.

Completed in 2006, this upscale Marriott facility offers a thoughtfully designed and well laid out floorplan, with its ample and inviting public spaces, its beautiful atrium, and sixteen-floor, 500-room hotel centrally contained, with nearly one hundred fifty thousand square feet of exhibition space across the two-storied larger venues and meeting rooms all connected to the east.



Now, saying that this was a successful and enjoyable event would be the severest of understatements. It was an AMAZING SHOW! For the first time in three years, the largest US contingent of manufacturers, representatives, dealers, industry specialists, retailers, audiophiles, music lovers, and end-users of all these magical music-making machines got to come together as a community again – something our industry sorely relies upon for sustained growth and innovation. And everyone was not only ready for it, but they were also in great spirits, smiling, chatting, and eagerly engaging with one another and with the magic of the music being presented. The underlying mood may have represented the least contentious and irritable demeanors I've ever noted from my colleagues, both exhibitors and journalists alike. My hat is off to Liz Smith and her team for a job exceedingly well done!



Now, don't mistake my zeal and sincere enthusiasm for us finally having gotten back on top of our game to mean that every room sounded great... or even good, in many cases. There were some especially underwhelming rooms, including more than a few of which seemed to think that they may have been in consideration of being awarded "Best of Show" status. While this is not necessarily uncommon to find at shows, there did seem to be more bristling and seeming entitlement at this event, perhaps spawned by the extended length of time that had passed between showings. I can't say with any certainty.

Now, it is important for you to understand just how difficult it is to achieve even just good performance at an audio show, in either the typically cramped three-hundred fifty-odd square foot hotel rooms in the tower section, or in the many other larger meeting and event spaces, like the eighteen-hundred odd square foot spaces in the larger meeting and event rooms. Regardless of the room choice, with just 24 (or in some special cases, 48) hours to load in, unpack, set up, and dial in a system, realizing the best possible sound is a true challenge. Assuming all the best, that the room size, shape, and orientation don't offer any particularly bizarre loading or weird nodes with which to battle, nothing has ANY real-time to settle after setup prior to having to open your doors and put your best foot forward. GAWD FORBID you have only brand new, never-before-played gear, products with zero run time, as that only compounds the problem. Trying to accomplish some kind of adequate sonic performance under show conditions, let alone being able to achieve some semblance of the proficiency you can attain with the best set up and some solid run-in and settle time, can put a lot of strain on exhibitors.





---> Next Page Of AXPONA 2022 Show Coverage.















































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