The vast majority of audiophiles were dumbfounded by the virtually suicidal move that regional audio show, AXPONA, made last week when they said they were moving their show dates to the fall of 2020. Those dates pretty much are spoken for by other and or more established shows such as CEDIA, Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Capital Audiofest and Canada's TAVES show.
AXPONA put out a statement today saying that after receiving feedback that they are moving their show dates back to the chilly spring in Chicago versus creating a free-for-all that would likely do serious damage to an already hurting audiophile hobby.
The new dates for AXPONA in 2020 are April 17-20.
They are also adding a press day, which will help get more ink for the show from print magazines, online publications and bloggers. That's a smart move.
The Going back to the original dates from the new dates also likely saved the show from pending failure. As is, the time, logistics, manpower and cost of trying to support any two of the fall shows is already a stress on most audiophile companies. With AXPONA in the fall there would be FIVE (four of them already established) shows to choose from. As is that's too many.
AXPONA is now re-positioned to pick up enthusiasm in the spring from a post-CES audience who really don't attend the show for audio anymore. Ever since the Consumer Electronics Association changed their name to the Consumer Technology Association - CES (you aren't allowed to call it consumer electronics show anymore - just "CES") isn't really any kind of audio show. The rumor at CEDIA was that there was going to be one third of one floor of The Venetian dedicated to specialty audio. Fun times...
When CES was a consumer electronics show; not a AI, IoT, and driver-less car, drone show, the Venetian was packed with four or five floors of high end audio exhibits. Since then, the size of CES has become even more bloated. The cost of the show has followed suit, so much so that new companies can't possibly afford to participate. Factor in fewer and fewer dealers, less press choosing to attend, and 180,000 people in Las Vegas from 190-ish countries all at the peak of flu season and you can easily see why CES has lost its luster.
Perhaps at first AXPONA didn't understand the gift.
I hope that they do now.