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Coming Together

Feb 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Michael Goldman

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Shortly after visiting the NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif., last month, I happened upon coverage of the event in Los Angeles Times. The article rightly calls NAMM “an instrument industry convention,” and writer Scott Martelle goes on to accurately detail the “pure cacophony” of the show floor's mix of guitars, cellos, saxophones, electric drums, and so much more. Then, buried deep near the end of the text, is an admission that churches and other permanent installations are “a growth area” for NAMM exhibitors and NAMM-goers, particularly for speaker manufacturers.

This growth area, of course, is why I was there in my capacity as Sound & Video Contractor's editor in the first place. Meeting with a handful of key manufacturers in the world of permanent installations; witnessing the majesty of the gigantic Roland and Harman Pro booths, among others; getting a peek at a major new initiative that Renkus-Heinz is planning to unveil next month at NSCA; and just wandering around, I was struck yet again by how deep the roots of convergence in the world of audio technology really are. Market segments and applications are truly coming together in the digital era. Therefore, installation pros can benefit from attending NAMM, and likewise, many music industry pros would probably benefit from popping into InfoComm-type events from time to time.

Yes, I know I harped on the convergence theme last month, but as we enter tradeshow season, it bears repeating. And I'm not just talking about NAMM or audio either. On page 14 for instance, Picture This columnist Jeff Sauer examines the growing relevance of CES to AV and installation professionals. Jeff suggests — and he's been bugging me about this privately as well — that despite having the word consumer in its name, CES has evolved into a crucial stop for anyone in the AV world seeking the latest, greatest innovations in professional-level display technology. Jeff tells me that CES perfectly illustrates how rapidly consumer and professional technologies are finding common ground these days.

As NSCA, InfoComm, and other shows arrive on 2007's doorstep, I'm looking forward to observing where else, and how else, things come together in the coming year.

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