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Florida Audio Expo, Year One










by Paul Elliot

Leaving dreary Baltimore and waking up in the bright sunshine and 80-degree wonderfulness, one just knows good things are about to spring forth. I’m here a day early, walking the halls before the Flordia Audio Expo opens tomorrow, and feeling the excitement of vendors busily moving in tons of boxes and solving set up problems. It feels electric.

I was finally able to grab Bart Andeer and whisk him aside to a  quiet corner out of eyesight of all the vendors and hotel people vying for his attention.

I have met Bart at a few different shows wearing his Resolution Acoustics hat, where he built highly regarded room dampening and diffusion panels. This avocation really was not more than a hobby and turned into his springboard into the Audio Industry.

He is president of the Florida Audio Society and the idea of a regional show had been kicking around for four or five years.  Well, he has really put together a team that feels more like a family unit.  AJ, Denise, and Angela have put together what looks like a great regional show.

First, there was a major effort to get the vendors on board. I mean, who does not want to come to Florida in February.  Seriously. Come on. This is the perfect month for a regional show! Not stepping on anybody’s toes. Not taking away or competing with any of the other regionals.

“We are trying to provide a service to the industry.  A place where vendors can present their products to an interested public can view, hear, and learn.” Bart told me that this year is only about “beginnings, building credibility, getting the message out there”. Not charging an entrance fee this first year was meant to demonstrate that the show promoters are trying to build good vibes.

Once they got a good feeling that the support was there from the vendors, they set out a marketing plan. They knew the audiophiles would find them, s=o they went about trying to discover the music lovers.  Bart’s team poured a significant of time and treasure into marketing.  Four NPR stations have been running promos. Ads in the playbill of The Center of Performing Arts. Ads in a few other publications geared to the demographic they the team felt was a good bet.

Registration is running very high — and that is only part of the attendees expected because not everyone is registering. It is not a requirement.

So I had to ask, “What about next year?”  Bart let out a big sigh and told me that after this show, the partners go to their separate corners and reflect for a week. Then they will come together and make the decisions about next year.

Bart said that he is tired but excited. This is going to be an awesome show. He wants everyone to have a good time, enjoy themselves and hear some great music.

Stay tuned for more.

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