Intermission. With 110 rooms spread out over three venues, this Warsaw event was big. Advertised even on television*, the radio and social media and then crammed into just two rather than three or four days, attendance particularly on Saturday packed it. Whilst that's exactly what every exhibitor dreams of, working one's way through the Sobieski's seven floors under such conditions with ambitions to see it all could get quickly suffocating. Even so, the general behaviour of the showgoers I encountered was very civilized and courteous. And, there were plenty of younger folks and women too, even kids.

* "One thing you did not see was that we had seven live entries on national TV on Saturday morning on two major TV channels. We talked about audio, the vinyl revival and showing stuff on breakfast TV. People who were eating breakfast on Saturday morning and thinking about what to do over the weekend could come and see us. We started doing this last year. It turned out great. I went to the TV  studio with Ken Ishiwata This year we paid them more to have live coverage directly from our show. Around 2'000'000 people were watching us on Saturday morning." That was Adam Mokrzycki broadcasting live from Warsaw. Quite the antidote to the UK show two exhibitors who talked to me about it had just attended a week prior. Not only had that been as dead as a door nail according to them, management had divided brands into rich-man's and poor-man's quarters. Truly. Not only that, the latter's makers were reminded, by email, that required dress code was wearing suits. Perhaps Paul Miller should have Adam take over management of his event?

Whilst the Sobieski is a bit worn around the edges and at 6km from the airport not yet in the snazzier part of town, it would seem to serve its intended task well. With the hotel's elevators bypassed because each floor's active rooms are stopped short before getting to them—a temporary divider with attendant guard on each floor makes sure of it—the stairs were the always open and only means of getting around. Remember the days of manual car windows? Those never failed. Same here.

As Peter Trenner of Trenner & Friedl remarked who had two different models in two rooms on different floors, he was surprised by how attendees favoured calmer mellower music for their show tunes. Being obviously tied to his main room with the big Isis boxes, he must have been well shielded from some of the more robotic techno crap played downstairs. But in general, I too found the overall musical mood more civilized than usual.

There also was a live concert with guitarist Hans Theessink in the Golden Tulip; and a Gerhard vs. Dirk seminar in the Bristol, giving's boss room to elucidate before an audience. The Lutz Precision room below had direct-from-tape disc transfers for sale and attendees could sample their wares with headphones directly off two Nagra open-reel decks.

Of the Polish press in attendance, I saw Marcin Olszewski of Sound Rebels and Tomasz Karasinksi of StereoLife whilst Wojciech Pacula of HighFidelity wasn't just physically present but also in very corporate award form in many of the rooms.

These banners of the Sobieski's seven floors give a good impression of who was where though it does rather leave out all the action on the ground floor. That comes in Part II.

The Golden Tulip presence a short 5-minute walk across the intersection was far more compact and essentially limited to eight larger rooms and some hallway displays. Lynn and Kevin Scott of LivingVoice checked into two of these options and one equivalent in the Sobieski to determine whether 2015 might be the year of the Vox Olympian/Elysian system for Poland. As consummate pros, these folks don't leave attendance to chance or paper specs. Only a physical inspection of the actual exhibit space proposed to see exactly what type of work and solutions will be required to conduct a first-rate demo will do.

Seeing how far too many exhibitors leave far too much to chance—sharing rooms with equipment they meet for the first time a day prior to show opening; showing equipment whose build finaled a day before the show; using equipment that's virgin and not broken in, etc.—this was a good reminder. Those few who leave nothing to chance tend to be the ones who enjoy the very best results. It's really not rocket science, is it?

As you'll have noticed, I haven't really talked sound. That's reserved for a few favourite rooms that will be mentioned in Part II. The purpose of Part I was purely to introduce you to brands from Poland you may have been unfamiliar with. As these pages showed, there's a lot of domestic hifi action in this country (and I probably still missed some).

The brands which most impressed me here were Abyss Sound, Amare Musica and sounddeco. I think all three of them are ready for the big time. Ancient Audio and GigaWatt are already there. Two brands I missed from my last time in Warsaw were Harpia Acoustics and Acuhorn.