The Now Listen Here (a Tenacious Sound company) micro-show listening event was held at the Hyatt House Hotel in King of Prussia, PA. An event location with quick access to main highways, decent shopping, and open restaurants. Which made for easy day-travel to the event and allowed one to find other things to do if audiophilia wasn’t exactly their idea of a good time. As for the space inside the hotel, the NLH event was perfectly distanced away from the main lobby of the hotel on the lower level grounds, with adequate space for sprawling out, access to fresh air, and dedicated facilities.
Reporting by Eric Franklin Shook
A few days after the show I reached out to Jessica Sherrick of Now Listen Here to ask a few questions and get a few takes on the first ever pandemic micro-show as she distinctly had a bird’s eye view of what was going on (and going down) all weekend.
As just a press member, I could tell that the Now Listen Here micro-show was well-attended despite the slow start with Saturday’s early morning rain. Jessica Sherrick tells me that “Sunday was nearly a 100% in attendance from registered show attendees, and good sign of committed interest in audio events.” Speaking of registration, Now Listen Here implemented the registration as a way for listeners and guests to reserve a time slot to attend the show without the risk of having to be relegated to potentially crowded hotel gathering spaces and congested egresses. All was done in the name of safety, but for me it something more that felt adequately streamlined and a made for an enjoyable guided tour and listening experience. I liked not walking into a room mid-demo and feeling like I’m more of an interruption or intrusion, than a welcomed guest. It’s as if the show stopped and started just for me. I must admit, that’s a good feeling.
In the hallway near the registration area is where most of the attendee feedback was gathered. Several show-goers Jessica Sherrick spoke with commented from a safe distance about how happy they were to attend a great sounding audio event again, how great it was to have something to do safely outside of the house, and spoke of an overall appreciation for Aaron and Jessica’s handling of the Now Listen Here show during a difficult time.
I even asked Jessica Sherrick if there was anything that Now Listen Here would do different if they were to do things over again, and very little of note came to mind. Even with several days after the show to mull things over and second guess what one had done, little bared itself in need of fixing. If anything, this is due to the overwhelmingly positive reactions and feedback from show-goers and guests who had little to complain about, and plenty to gush about.
One couple in attendance who Sherrick spoke with were still new to the hobby did express their want for a more guidance during the listening sessions, which is understood for anyone still looking for that 101 level listening experience. When I pressed Sherrick about the growth of the show, she shared in my own sentiments. Agreeing that adding additional rooms to the event while maintaining the proper crowd density should be a topic of high interest and discussion among the Now Listen Here team.
Sherrick also shared with me that “of the attendees at the show, only about 50% of them were known from their existing Now Listen Here client list. With a large swath coming from within the Philadelphia audio society, but also from across state lines as the New Jersey audiophiles turned out in good numbers.” She credits a lot of this extraterritorial interest towards the micro-show from publications like Part-Time Audiophile and others which played a part in promoting the event.
A sight for sore eyes at the micro-show was Marjorie Baumert, the driving force behind Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF), who was in attendance. Baumerts’ comments towards the show were all extremely positive. Herself feeling the Now Listen Here micro-show concept was well executed given the circumstances, and for herself a great way to get one’s toes back into the audio show scene.
I finally asked Jessica Sherrick if the Now Listen Here mirco-show style event is something she would consider doing again. The answer—a resounding “Yes!” But something that would probably not take place until the spring of the new year, and definitely with more and different products on hand, so as to not be “that same old show again.”
The positive feedback from event attendees could be something that the Now Listen Here sphere of influence needs to connect with existing and new customers. But I also believe it to be more than that. This style of event could be the birth of something that is not only what the doctor ordered for audiophiles during for COVID times, but it might also be something for many sides of the hi-fi industry to consider as a gentler way towards a post-pandemic recovery.
The Joseph Audio, Jeff Rolwand, VPI Industries | Now Listen Here 2020
Aaron Sherrick of Now Listen Here hosted the exhibit space where Joseph Audio, Jeff Rowland, Chord, VPI Industries, Sonore, Roon, and Transparent were assembled to gift us something real and heartfelt. Our coverage of this exhibit can be found HERE.
The Fyne Audio, Chord, VPI Industries | Now Listen Here 2020
Shayne Tenace of Tenacious Sound, who is also part owner of Now Listen Here, hosted the exhibit space where Fyne Audio, Chord Electronics, VPI Industries, Sonore, and Transparent Cable were assembled to deliver a grand and powerful performance. Our coverage of this exhibit can be found HERE.
A special thank you to Part-Time Audiophile contributor Nan Pincus who participated in something very brave in making the journey to cover the Now Listen Here event with me. She has been such a fun, creative, and interesting addition to the PTA team. She is a great friend to me, and the best co-mastermind of our NLH 2020 show coverage. She was lionhearted throughout our time in Philadelphia, and I could not have been prouder of her for that. Nor could I’ve designed anyone better to have at my side along the way. A salute to you Nan.