Fourth, yes, I’m ordering more shirts. Stay tuned.
Fifth, and finally, I want to say thanks to Gary Gill and crew. Capital Audiofest was, in the view of an overwhelming majority (according to my entirely scientific polling data) a resounding success. I told Gary that I thought — and do think — that the choice of the Sheraton in downtown Silver Spring in Maryland was a master stroke. Parking was free, and it was all of two blocks from the Metro for those city folks or folks flying in to DC. The location was extremely easy to find, was recently refurbed and is well laid out. The rooms were, by and large, adequately sized — and for those that want or need larger ones, well, hopefully they’ll not wait to the last possible second to sign up (ahem) next time and can get themselves a more suitable demo room. The elevators actually worked. So did the air conditioning. And the power. The sound quality, on whole, was really good — again, “asymmetrical” and “solid” for your walls really does help. Now, all they need is an acoustic treatment “show sponsor” who’ll roll up with a truck like ATS did at AXPONA, and we’re in business. The food in the hotel was “fine” — exactly as expected — but you could actually walk to great ethic (and not so ethnic) eats. When was the last time you went to an audio show and didn’t need a car to get to 20 different kick-ass eating establishments, an indie movie theater and a metroplex, half a dozen pubs and bars with live entertainment? And be a short public transit/Metro ride from a major metropolitan city? Gah, it was nuts. Best show location, ever. Okay, maybe not ever, but compared to some of the other venues I’ve been to in the last 3 years, it wasn’t even close, and I was flipping out. I think I put on 10lbs in 3 days, and I still walked north of 10 miles of hotel hallways.
44 rooms and 1,200 registered attendees, 2013 was a big step up over last year. The audience was a blend, too — yes, there were plenty of white-haired old men. But I ran into quite a few women! Not as many as Mat Weisfeld, it’s true. There were lots of families wandering around, and lots of good, hopeful questions being asked by the sometimes-awed, sometimes bored, younger crowd. NOAA’s Scholars, an indeterminately-sized group of teens who showed up on Sunday for their own week-long event, were curiously picking through the record bins and trying on headphones all Sunday afternoon.
In short, I loved it.
For those of you that stayed firmly on the fence and failed to pull the trigger … whoops. For those of you that said “I’ve done x number of shows already this year … [blah blah blah]” — whoops. For those of you still confused as to why audio shows are important to your business or the industry — seriously? Bah.
Anyway, here’s to a successful fourth year. Kudos to Gary and the CAF Team for a great event! Looking forward to 2014!
On with the coverage ….