AXPONA Audio Con is NOT WELCOME in Chicago and the city is not glad the show is here. What other conclusion can one draw upon landing at O'Hare and waiting to pick up one's luggage only to be confronted by the sign you see at the top of this story?

HIMSS15 Annual Conference & Exhibition gets a welcome, whatever that is, so does AERA 2015, whatever the hell that is. So does Automechanika Chicago. Does that have something to do with autoerotica? Not sure, but whatever it is, it too is welcome in Chicago, as is of course, Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) 2015—which tells you that comics can't be all that entertaining. If they were, why did they have to add the "& Entertainment"?

There's room there for "AXPONA Audio Con" but obviously the show is not welcome in Chicago. When I brought this up to a show spokesperson upon arriving at the O'Hare Westin, where I was welcome, she told me that the group "Choose Chicago" "was tough".

Yeah? Well you know what? We can be tough too.

If you go to the website's list of "This Week In Chicago" you'll find the Chicago Improv Festival, the Chicago Latino Film Festival, and the Chicago Palestine Film Festival, but no Chicago AXPONA Audio Con.

I tried posting this message on a blog site associated with the "Choose Chicago" site: "Why no welcome or mention of AXPONA Audio Con this weekend? HIFI IS ALIVE AND WELL. VINYL RULES. Show is at O'Hare Westin". The message after I posted it said ""Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Chicago Like a Local".

It never was.

So why not go to that blog site and "get tough"?

Hlaudio's picture

I know Mike, it's confusing. The AXPONA event(s) are not in Chicago. Chicago never promotes anything at O'hara that isn't in Chicago!

azmoon's picture not my kind of town.......

chrisheinonen's picture

Or we can look at the attendance numbers for each of those events:

HIMSS: 38,000+
AERA: 14,000+
Comic Expo: 53,000+
Automechanika: 8,500+
Axpona: 4,372 in 2014, 3,100 in 2013.

The Axpona numbers also include exhibitors and buyers (3,133 out of 4,372 per Stereophile) while the other numbers do not. Perhaps AXPONA just isn't big enough yet, with roughly 1200 general public attendees, to push any of those other items off the banner.

zzcorey's picture

Above post confirms yes it does

Michael Fremer's picture
The fact is i well understood AXPONA wasn't as large a show as something held at McCormick Place. So what? And if there wasn't room on that poster there surely was on the WEBSITE. How many will attend the Palestine Film Festival that was on the website? The #s are not relevant.
isaacrivera's picture

Adding Smaller events to their promotion ads will help nourish smaller events into larger ones. In general, there is much capacity for growing a small event than a bigger one. Nobody has to be pushed off the banner, there is plenty of space on the design to accommodate a couple more entries if so is desired.

If you consider it, this poster is just preaching to the choir. Back-patting big event attendees is a waste of effort in my opinion. It's nice, but if you are already in Chicago to attend, not having seen such a poster is not going to disappoint you. On the other hand, the smaller the event, the bigger chances that you did not know about it and may consider attending.

I am not offended that they did not include AXPONA, but I think they could reconsider their strategy about promoting events, doing so would probably be a smarter choice.

Michael Fremer's picture
The website covers the Palestine Film Festival. How many attendees will be there? Numbers aren't everything!
rtrt's picture

Is the Pioneer review still planned?

Michael Fremer's picture
out of the box before leaving for AXPONA
rtrt's picture

looking forward to it

VictorV's picture

Went last year great seminars, looks like a similar schedule. If anyone is attending definitely catch Vinyl Lives and the turntable setup by our host!

tube dog's picture

tell me a long time ago that because of the dog eat dog nature of this industry, the high end is full of pricks from manufacturers to retailers to magazine reviewers. Maybe Chicago is sick and tired of dealing with these type of people. Just a thought.

Jazzfan62's picture

I wanted to see the Vanderstine Treos. I'm looking at speakers in that price range and was thinking that would be my choice. I listened in the Vanderstine room to their top of the line speakers. I went up to Mr. Vanderstine afterwards and the guy was a total prick. Vanderstines for me. However, I found most of the exhibitors very engaging. I met John Atkinson in the ZU Audio room. He just came up and started talking and then walked with me through couple rooms. I met another reviewer, however, and he was totally talking down to everyone. Like any other profession, there are always bone heads that think they are put on this world to bless everyone else's existence.

Rudy's picture

Interesting view of some of the participants. I can say two things: first, the audio industry isn't the only one that has its share of boneheads. I have found that to be the case with others I have been involved with. Especially in the I.T. profession, where that "holier than thou" attitude seems to be rampant at times.

Second, keep in mind that some of the company founders are really engineers at heart, not sales or marketing wizards, and certainly may not have the people skills. Some entrepreneurs are like that--they're happier at their test bench or in their listening chair rather than out in public, where others can barely contain their enthusiasm and thrive on meeting their potential customers.

As for critics? Well, I've been there myself, and there are those few who give all of us a bad name. And that goes back to my first point--it's always the bad apples who are spoiling our bunch.

Michael Fremer's picture
The "prick" here is that audio retailer. The industry is mostly populated by really nice, well-meaning people who are idealists, not money grubbers. This is the last business one enters to make money, though the good ones do. The nature of business is competitive and so there's a 'dog eat dog' nature to all business and pricks within every one of them, from automobiles to whatever business you can think of. The biggest problem audio faces is a lack of visibility not that a city is sick of what you said. I wish they were "sick of it"! That would mean they HEARD OF IT.
OldschoolE's picture

This is true. The only pricks I have ever run into even in my limited outings have either been audio retailers who are trying to make it big, (there are some really nice retailers out there too) or some audiophiles who have a Machiavellian disorder or something. (Again, there are also some really ultra nice helpful ones out there that I have the privilege of knowing).
In my personal interactions with some industry folks (limited though it has been), most all have been very pleasant and down right nice.

OldschoolE's picture

I don't know why, but reading this article made me laugh a few times. Here's a thought: You happen to have your comedy chops intact and you are not just informative, but entertaining too. So all that other stuff going on is not better just because of more numbers or billing. You can give information, comedy and entertainment just as go get'em! :)

Michael Fremer's picture
If you don't make noise you get stepped on.
seattle's picture

i wonder why chicago wouldn't be enthusiastic to draw attention to niche events whose attendees post knee-jerk reactions when their small audience isn't given the poster treatment at o'hare. it's entirely possible this process included fees, scheduling or other components AXPONA could've proactively attempted to identify solutions to ahead of time. hyperbolic, sweeping headlines, even in jest (and with 5+ paragraphs to boot), make the audiophile community sound like it's comprised of a bunch of entitled curmudgeons (which i know, isn't true!).

Michael Fremer's picture
While it was annoying but understandable that AXPONA wasn't among the events welcomed on that baggage carousel sign, that it wasn't among the events mentioned on the Welcome Chicago website, which listed a bunch of other SMALLER niche events, and my comment wasn't considered fit for publication---when all it did was mention AXPONA----well, if you don't think that's sufficient cause for being pissed off enough to post what I did, well then I don't know how much abuse is enough before you'd take action yourself!
Overheateurope's picture

Hi Michael, will your axpona 2015 seminar be online as a live stream? I'm really looking forward to seeing the debate between yourself and the chap from better records.

avanti1960's picture

"Chicago" (city of) does not and will not promote events outside of city limits. Chicago is a state unto itself.
Since AXPONA is/ was held in Rosemont, it would not be supported or promoted by Chicago. Especially Rosemont, where there have been numerous political, financial and policy wars with Chicago over the years. In the last (20) years or so, Rosemont has been prospering by virtue of casino, hotel and convention revenues and rubbing Chicago's political nose in the dirt however and whenever they can.

thirtycenturyman's picture

Although O'hare airport is located in Chicago, that portion of land is connected to the city by only a thin strip of land running east/west. AXPONA was held in a hotel that is adjacent to the airport, but outside the city limits of Chicago.

I'm sure there are quite a few Chicago venues that would be happy to take AXPONA's money, but Rosemont was probably better logistically.

DavidFell's picture

They chose Rosemont, not Chicago. Probably for very valid reasons. But your disappointment that a Chicago-promoting organization isn't plugging an event that is OUTSIDE Chicago is misplaced.