The past 14 months have not been kind to the trade show industry and it’s understandable that a lot of people are still not comfortable attending a large crowd gathering if they are not vaccinated. Border restrictions are still in place in regard to Canada and the United States and European manufacturers and audiophiles face even larger hurdles. Those of us in the United States, Israel, U.K., and Canada are in a very different place than hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Europe, and South America. With Munich 2021 already cancelled and rescheduled to 2022, we need to find a silver lining somewhere. It would appear that RMAF 2021 held in Denver is happening and we have some new details for manufacturers, press, and attendees.
RMAF Show 2021 Update May 17th, 2021
“Well, we feel so much better now! Last week we met with the staff of the Gaylord and learned more about their plans for opening conferences this summer. Perhaps the most important thing we learned is that beginning this month, the standard 6′ social distancing requirement will be reduced to 3′. Following a 90-day evaluation period monitored by the Tri-County Health Department, the Gaylord staff expects the distancing requirement will be lifted completely. People will be asked to use good judgment when encountering indoor crowds. Although we are under no illusions that the need for caution is over, we are relieved to feel that something akin to “normal” is in our future!
And so, while we would never want to minimize anyone’s concerns regarding their safety or that of their staff, we are feeling more and more confident that we can move forward with planning our show with our usual optimism. With that in mind, here are some early answers to the questions we’ve been fielding.
Is anybody coming?
Seriously, how could we possibly know that? But here’s our best guess: With Asia and most of Europe still on lockdown, many of our international friends will be missing, exhibitors, press and attendees alike. That said, a survey we did earlier this year showed strong attendee support and intent to come. We have been staying in touch with the Colorado Audio Society with monthly zoom meetings and they are ready to be your hosts! While our crystal ball remains hazy, we think people are ready to come out and see your stuff! We’ve also seen a fair amount of enthusiasm from some of our exhibitors, who feel that RMAF 2021 is a perfect opportunity to showcase their lockdown projects and debut some new products.
It seems that everyone has been waiting to see which way the wind is blowing, including the press! Some will probably stay home, but seriously, after being at home for a year and a half, and considering all the date changes and social media chatter, don’t you think they’ll want to come out and cover the first big show? Now that things look more positive, we are seeing more press registrations and fielding more questions, so yeah, we think they’ll be there if they they are able to travel.
What happens if RMAF cancels the show this year?
As we did in 2020, our plan is to refund with no strings attached. People are understandably nervous about this issue, and we hasten to assure you that RMAF will not retain any payments to be applied to some future show. If, for some reason, we are unable to host RMAF 2021, your money will be returned immediately. And for our international friends, even if our show goes on, if borders are closed between your country and ours, we completely understand, and will refund any payments you may have made.
What about masks?
Let’s not make this a big deal. If the governor’s mandate is still in effect, masks will be required. If the mandate is lifted, masks will be optional. With that in mind, we know that some people are still not comfortable in close proximity to others, so we will offer each exhibitor the option to require masks in their room, and to indicate that preference on their room sign. The hotel assures us that there will be beaucoup hand sanitizing stations throughout the hotel and conference center, and elevator occupancy is limited to minimize the spread of germs. Personal responsibility will be the watchword, and we will be encouraging everyone to be respectful of others.
What are you doing to get a younger demographic?
Now, this is exciting! We are hosting a room full of teenage audiophiles who are not only musicians in their own right, but are also enthusiastic listeners to a whole range of musical genres. They will be commandeering one of our large rooms and offering up a taste of what each of them are listening to and playing. Spoiler alert: There may be dancing involved! If you would like to support these up and comers in audio with equipment, cabling or media, here’s one more chance to get your products out there! Please contact us for their wish list!
I’m totally into it! When do I pay?
We’ll be happy to take your money, but not until June. We want to make sure that if the world tilts again, that your money is still in your pocket if we can! Your signed contract will hold your room instead. If you want to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount, your first payment is due Wednesday, June 2, 2021. If you miss the early bird deadline, your first payment will be due by Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Final payments are due on Thursday, September 2, 2021.
We are excited to get this show on the road and welcome you all back to Denver! See you in October!”
Marjorie Baumert and Marcie Miller
Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest