Truly, show attendance for established magazines who no longer must spread the word on their mere existence is mostly about pro bono support of the industry which feeds them; and to enjoy rare face-to-face opportunities of interfacing with their advertisers. These two very good reasons must be balanced against the incurred business expenses particularly when shows take place abroad. That determines whether a given publication can afford to send more than one journalist (helpful to cover really big events) or any at all. And let's face it, there are many
such shows today. For the well-informed journo, on actual product and brand discoveries shows are very often a repeat from the year prior. Meanwhile pre-show product announcements via email might cover the majority of what otherwise might have been surprises. In short, compelling the press to turn up in droves to anything other than the biggest must-see events—Munich in Europe, Las Vegas in the US, Guangzhou in China —isn't easy. That's further undermined by the preponderance of hifi blogs and web-based posters who often contribute intensively and in near real-time coverage on shows.
Here Adam's standing offer to offset travel and room costs had me add his dazzling do to my annual show list of Munich and Zürich. I'd first covered his show in 2006
. Marja & Henk had done it in 2012
. In our combined opinion, this event has long since become #2 in Europe right after Munich and way ahead of Milan, London, Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Zürich or Gotheburg. I personally would probably most credit Adam Mokrzycki's promotional chops and the resultant success for this rating; perhaps also less exploitative exhibitor pricing than the German HighEnd Society practices for Munich and Zürich; and lastly strong loyal support from Poland's sizeable hifi manufacturing sector.
For non-Polish exhibitors, attendance here can open doors to post-Communist Russia and the large swath of blossoming Eastern European countries. With 2014's installation of the event being the 18th
time—yep, I did say one-eight—and spreading out over three hotels, the Warsaw audio show clearly belongs to the very established and most successful examples of its kind. Gratulacje!
In keeping with the big regional
theme of this event, my coverage will focus on Polish products; and novelties from brands in the wider Eastern European region. Covering for example Avantgarde Audio's Zero.1 which bowed at the Munich 2013 show wouldn't fall within that scope even though it's a fabulous speaker which some Warsaw showgoers might never have seen or heard (of) before.
Likewise for Naim's giant statement amplifier and other such fare despite possibly being their premier Polish showing. My beat would be doggedly domestic; plus personal novelties from the regionals. Without a focused strategy that spends quality time in some exhibits rather than covers them all in a mad drive-by dash, worthwhile show reports done by a single individual, of big shows held over just two days and in three locations, aren't really feasible.