The Home Entertainment Show has put all its eggs in one basket. After a gagillion years, they’ve abandoned Las Vegas to concentrate on the single, almost-in-Newport Newport show. After years of splitting that show between two hotels, they’ve moved in to a single hotel that offers shmancier, more upscale, less 70’s-retro-cool digs. There are more rooms, more stereos, more cars, more food, and more people than I really care to think about. Next to those teeny changes — and next to the absolutely brilliant on-site, all-night, convenience store in the lobby — the biggest change was that the T.H.E. show got expanded to four whole days.
The new day was an Industry Day, a “press slash VIP” day in which folks were supposed to wander the halls getting their impressions of the gear on offer. The theory, in part, was that the blogger scum might have a slim chance to avoid clogging up the hallways when the real customers came out to play. Like most theories, it needed a bit of work. Thursday was a day in which folks discovered that their cartridges didn’t work, that their drivers were blown, and that they had no idea where to store their boxes. I gave up being a journamalist after walking into a dozen rooms that, for all intents, still had curlers in their hair. By the time happy hour started at four, most other folks gave up, too.
So… “Industry Day” became about the industry. Setup, eating, drinking, talking, catching up on a year’s worth of stories, making new friends, and a bit more drinking. Instead of talking about audio, the day was about rediscovering one of the fun facts about the industry: we’re not just limited to one hobby. Cars, music, travel … fart jokes …. We covered it all.
Here are some of the faces that go with stories you’ll never hear.