THE Show Newport 2013 TABlog
It took me a couple of days to figure out why there was a portrait of Richard Beers, the organizer of THE Show Newport (and the sister event in Las Vegas), in the lobby of the Hilton: He was in constant motion and nearly impossible to track down during the three days of his event.
Another THE Show Newport Beach is in the bag, and from where I sit it seems apparent that it has a brighter future now than it did four days ago. I've carped about other shows -- and the sheer number of shows on the calendar in general -- but this one embodies so much of what makes a consumer audio show worthwhile and successful, even if some of its particulars also make covering it a challenge.
First, the challenge. Because of when this show occurs, after both CES and High End in Munich, THE Show Newport Beach is not rife with product debuts, the grist of a show report. It also occurs when people's minds are not on sitting indoors listening to music. But the location in Southern California, with its crush of people, and side-by-side venues (with further room for expansion) give it the attendance and space necessary to thrive. Its laid-back vibe makes it a lot of fun to attend, even with the responsibility of having to cover it hanging over your head. There's an airport conveniently located literally across the street from both hotels; however, you would never know it, because the sound of planes taking off and landing is simply not present. And then there are the demo rooms themselves, which are a cut above the spaces in hotels where other audio shows take place. Good sound is common here, the dreaded "show sound" being the exception, not the rule.
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