AES NY 2018 Preview: Synergy With NAB NY Reflects Audio-Video Integration

Co-location of the shows spurs growth in audio attendees, exhibitors

At the time of the Audio Engineering Society’s first expo, in 1949, a year after the organization’s founding, sound was at the top of the totem pole of broadcasting. Radio still dominated the airwaves; television was barely out its incubation stages. Almost 70 years hence, sound and picture have attained rough parity (though not, many broadcast-audio professionals will tell you, when it comes to budgets), but video and more recently newer media such as streaming have been getting the glory.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of inexpensive yet powerful digital audio platforms over the past 30-plus years have diffused pro audio’s impact, if not its presence, with hit records being made on smartphones and laptops. One result is diminished attendance on average at AES shows over the past two decades.

However, pro audio’s main U.S. expo is regaining much of its mojo though a synergy with the NAB NY show. This second co-location of the shows, which takes place Oct. 17-20 at Manhattan’s Javits Center, reflects the deepening integration of audio and video in broadcast and elsewhere in the digital landscape.

Better Numbers, Better Quality
Both sides in this marriage are benefiting. NAB NY reports that, this year, 67 first-time exhibitors — including ARRI, Bose, Google, Microsoft, and Primestream — will join a variety of companies on the show floor. Speaking for the AES side, Jack Kelly, president of Group One Ltd, which represents DiGiCo, Calrec, and other pro-audio brands, observed for an AES press release at the end of the event last year, “I continue to be impressed with the increasing numbers and quality of attendees at the NY AES.”

An AES spokesperson confirms the benefit of the synergy: “Co-location with the NAB Show New York increased traffic noticeably in 2017 with the increase in media professionals in the building.”

Among AES exhibitors, 37 are new for this year, and some are returning after periods of absence. Among them are AIMS, ALC Networx/Ravenna, Apogee, Bose Professional, Dell, Riedel, Telos Alliance, and Wysicom.

This year, both sides of the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side will have substantial conference programs and panels running during the equipment expo. NAB NY is splitting its program between core business, creative, and technology tracks, the last featuring “the newest technologies redefining the distribution and delivery of content.” AES’s conference program will go deep, covering such areas as Broadcast & Online Delivery, Immersive & Spatial Audio, Networked Audio, and an array of standards-committee meetings. The program is also heavy with educational offerings; for instance, this year’s iteration of the Live Production Stage offers three days of workshops, panels, and sessions covering Broadcast Audio and Live Events, among other topics.

This year’s AES Convention is led by Co-Chairs Valerie Tyler, Jonathan Wyner, and SVG Executive Director Paul Gallo, who collaborated to create an engaging event with an emphasis on technology.

“We’re delighted with the volunteers who’ve stepped forward to assemble the technical program for AES New York 2018,” says Wyner, citing among others Broadcast and Online Delivery Chair David Bialik and Assistant Chair Fred Willard. “These individuals are all leading experts in their audio specialties, and, based on the work to date, the convention program will be spectacular.”

The AES New York Convention will feature four full days of Technical Program research presentations, workshops, and tutorials (Oct. 17-20) and three days of Exhibition Floor showcases and demos (Oct. 17-19).

The NAB Show New York (Oct. 17-18) will feature more than 14,000 attendees and 300+ exhibitors showcasing the best in next-generation technology for media and entertainment professionals. Conferences, workshops, and exhibits will focus on television, film, satellite, streaming video, live events, podcasting, advertising, corporate A/V, production, and postproduction.

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