November 8, 2006
The blurb on the front of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest's catalog calls it "America's Premiere High-End Audio Show." As Marge Gunderson, the protagonist of Fargo, might say, "I'm not 100% sure about that." As I pointed out in my diary from our daily coverage of the RMAF, the crowds were thin and the hotel wasn't ideal for an audio show because the base rooms were narrow and the windows were sealed shut.
Still, there is good reason to consider the RMAF an up-and-coming audio event. According to Alan Steifel, the RMAF organizer, "We had over 300 exhibiting companies. The attendance was up some 23% from last year. Approximately 2216 registered, plus guests, 70 press, and almost 700 exhibitors." I was curious about how the attendees broke down by day. Were some counted more than once because they attended two or all three days of the show? "[I] don't have further details" was Alan's response to this question.
Competition for the RMAF is slim. THE Show, which runs concurrently with CES, is mostly for press and those in the industry, even though the general public can attend. The Home Entertainment Show's high cost and return to NYC make it less attractive for manufacturers and dealers, especially those in the West that support the RMAF.
SoundStage! contributor Vade Forrester, who has attended the RMAF since its inception, summed up the show's appeal this way: "If you think of it as a show for audiophiles where, for a brief period of time, a wide selection of audio products that most audiophiles would never get to see and hear is demonstrated, then RMAF serves a very useful purpose."...Marc Mickelson, email@example.com
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