The show can’t go on. What’s the future for public exhibitions?

crabby09

Active Member
I'd suggest that HiFi is actually one of those things that must be experienced in person! But I never get the chance to attend personally so I rely on others who opinions I value to have experienced items I am interested in. When it comes to shows, that real time comparison simply can't be beat.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I'm very upset by the prospect of not getting the opportunity to see AVForums editorial team members stumbling around exhibition and conference centres wearing AVForum branded merchandise while holding AVForums mugs :(


I'd suggest that most people actually looking to buy hifi are not those visiting such shows? Even if they were, is this really the ideal location or the ideal conditions to auditions such goods? Those wanting to try out and audition such equipment should be trying to frequent the smaller retailers who need the support. Some retailers will still be able to facilitate you with demos and auditions irrespective of what the situation is at and with the trade shows. They'll be able to do this in a much safer envirment as well.
 
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Toon Army

Well-known Member
The shows have a definite place in order to keep abreast of products, how they perform and future developments/models etc. It also provides a great opportunity to question reps about the aspects and features that matter to me. I agree about dante01's view on the value of dealers, however the ability to do all of the above whilst having a day out has considerable merit.
As for Bristol, the hotel is horrendous and it was never fun squeezing along the corridors on the upper floors, let alone trying to shoehorn oneself into a demo room. The venue needed to be changed pre-covid and that need is now imperative if it's going to have any future.
 

jakimp

Distinguished Member
big watch shows like baselworld have gone virtual so it can be done - you can argue harder to do online for AV gear but is it really? a world class on line show we could all log onto would advise of new products that might be of interest for a short list for us to demo and i think that is all i would need from such a show going forward as it is unlikely i would ever attend one in person
 

William bown

Active Member
I agree totally with you that Bristol’s venue pre covid left a lot to desire, not just the crowding it was the sound coming through the walls from adjacent demos.
I loved the show but it needs somewhere bigger - especially now.
 

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
No wonder Ed refers to the architectural style of the Bristol Marriott being unique. It looks like a brutalist monstrosity, and that's just the outside. As others have said, its too cramped for realistic social distancing inside. Still enjoy the show though and will continue to attend. I hope to go to at least one UK show this year. They are great to see IRL what's out there and talk to industry people.
 

tiberian9

Active Member
If shows do go the way of the dodo it could be beneficial for the quality of kit as it may slow the churn on models. Currently marketing drive the lifecycle of products as there must be something new to announce at every show. This annual refresh is too short which just results in a new 95% complete model every year.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’ve never felt the urge to go to one of the shows... odd really as it’s the only way to do a massive droolfest all at once.

But I’d suggest they will be back to normal well within the year.

And will stay that way until the next pandemic.

Or asteroid strike.

Or Yellowstone explosion.

Or zombie apocalypse.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
Hmm, thoughtful article. Even though I'll be getting my second Covid injection today, I intend to avoid mass gatherings for the time being. So perhaps I'm not the target audience!

@Ed Selley Forgive me, but was the piece really written in April? That being so, the delay until the third week in May to publish seems strange ....
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
I love going to Bristol have been each year probably for the past 30 years, it gives an opportunity to see so many items across a broad cross section of areas all in one go, although I appreciate not everyone is universally interested in all areas of AV & HiFi, so say TV’s, PJ’s and Surround Sound as well as Streaming and Vinyl Music and high end 2 channel Amps and Speakers. I love speaking to and hearing from knowledgeable people and reps and we always see something that gives us a genuinely nice surprise that we had previously never even given a second glance.

The venue and some of the demos downstairs are great, but upstairs can be a challenge for the claustrophobic. Having said that we aren’t too bothered and so will happily queue up and squeeze in as it’s usually worth the effort of waiting 5 mins, it’s much easier than getting to a dealer, although we often do that also, but I mean in the context of how else can you experience 30 different broad spectrum products in half a day elsewise, you can’t at your local dealer. I’d say if you are in the final stages of deciding between a few products then it’s not ideal for that, but if you have a heightened interest in many areas over many different products then it’s perfect for that.

I know after Covid many things about life may change for obvious reasons, but I seriously hope people aren’t that scared of living that they fear socialising in large numbers after things have become safer, I will continue to go to product shows and also experience Live music squashed at the front and Sporting events.

As a contrast I also love cars, I love looking at all cars in general to gain a better knowledge and understanding, I also love getting a new car and the process of looking and investigating to buy vs general broad knowledge are different processes. I know buying you only really know once you’ve been to a dealer and test drove a few, some people are happy just to buy blind, some will want to see a couple at a dealer, but there’s still nothing like going to a large motor show to see a large cross section of the motor industry and experience all types of cars including those supercars you’ll never buy and also see some new tech you hadn’t even thought were for you, such as how far EVs have progressed.
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
Well written if somewhat sober editorial - it's hard to see any kind of roadmap, (to use the term constantly used by a PM who doesn't actually have one), that points to any guaranteed future for trade shows in general and trade shows for A/V and HiFi in particular.
But I tend to agree with what's been said in the thread already - these shows are pretty much aimed at the specialist market, (which accounts for a small fraction of total retail sales), and specialist sites/reviewers such as this forum.
Most folks just pop into Curry's/Richer Sounds and buy the telly that's brightest and the stereo that's loudest and haven't the first idea how to calibrate - let's face it most just leave the telly on Dynamic mode because that's the most colourful, and we've all seen speakers/amps/turntables where they've simply no right to be in horrendous set-ups.
Talk to the average man in the street about paying a few grand for speakers and they'll look at you like you've just suggested streaking down Oxford Street.
Most folks I know who are into our hobby/obsession/clinical illness now buy from one of the usual suspects online, and if they don't like something they send it back and rinse and repeat until they're happy.
In fact the folks I know who've been to a trade show I can count on one hand.
And have fingers to spare.
Much as I hate to be the harbinger of doom I'd be surprised to see trade shows happening any time soon, if at all.
 

groucho marx

Well-known Member
the bristol show has always been a fixture on my list for the past 20 yrs or more,i enjoy the sights,the sounds,and the demos,plus its a day when me and my fellow enthusiasts can take our time to just look at everytrhing we can and cant afford,the last 2 shows though for me have been a dissapointment,the lack of projectors and av equipment meant that i was considering not going this year anyway,i hope it carries on though,i had some good times there and met some very nice people,
 

milano j

Active Member
And they say everything is improving ......FUBAR
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
I’ve never felt the urge to go to one of the shows... odd really as it’s the only way to do a massive droolfest all at once.

But I’d suggest they will be back to normal well within the year.

And will stay that way until the next pandemic.

Or asteroid strike.

Or Yellowstone explosion.

Or zombie apocalypse.
or all together at once.
 

aliencinema

Well-known Member
Do we know if 2022 Bristol sound and vision is going ahead
 

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