In addition to bigger consumer electronics and home theater tradeshows, such as CES and CEDIA, there are several smaller shows held annually in North America with a narrower focus, such as CanJam (Headphones), Axpona (High-end Audio), Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (High-end Audio), and T.H.E. Show – The Home Entertainment Show (Luxury Hi-Fi and Lifestyle Audio).
Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has put a damper on physical tradeshows. While CEDIA, CanJam, and T.H.E. returned to holding events during 2021 (albeit scaled down), the popular Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) announced that it had ceased all operations.
The departure of RMAF from the trade show circuit left a gap for audio enthusiasts and dealers alike.
The Denver event was always one of the best hi-fi shows in the world and with CES focusing less and less on high-end audio components, the demise of that show was definitely a blow to the industry.
The brand new shows in Florida and Seattle certainly fill in the gaps to a certain extent; the show along the Gulf Coast attracts audiophiles from Florida, Texas, and Georgia, and the brand new show in 2022 outside of Seattle will certainly pull local audiophiles, and consumers from Oregon, British Columbia, and parts of California.
Vancouver is a huge market for high-end audio but only has a very small local show hosted by a dealer, and Canadian audiophiles in Ontario and Quebec generally attend the annual shows in Toronto and Montreal. Toronto just hosted its first hi-fi show in 2 years because of the pandemic and Montreal has been quiet for 2 years.
Ecoustics EIC, Ian White, usually drives north across the border to his homeland from New Jersey for both shows, and we’re really hoping that Montreal 2022 actually happens. Those St. Viateur bagels are not going to eat themselves.
T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show) has made the decision to add a show in RMAF’s host city Denver, Colorado (2022 Venue and Dates forthcoming). Although claiming that RMAF’s departure from the show circuit schedule is not the reason that T.H.E. Show decided to add Denver to its schedule, the timing is interesting.
There is also the possibility that the recent announcement that there will be a new high-end audio show in Southern California in January 2022 pushed T.H.E. Show into expansion mode.
T.H.E. has stated that its goal is not to provide a “direct replacement” for RMAF as T.H.E. includes lifestyle, other categories, and activities that go beyond a straight Hi-Fi show. However, there is no denying that a lot of what their show offers in terms of exhibitor and attendee interest — does overlap somewhat with RMAF.
So what’s going on in Denver? Will audiophiles and music listeners be returning to the Mile High City for something new?
According to T.H.E. Show, the Denver show is considering a more integrated show touching on several aspects of home entertainment (in addition to audio), such as home theater, gaming, introductory systems, and even travel entertainment with an emphasis on independent designers and vendors.
In addition to its move into Denver, T.H.E. Show is also adding more for its fans, including:
- The showing of its award-winning documentary, T.H.E. Human Side on theatrical screen at the Culver City Film Festival which will be held from December 3-9, 2021. Screen dates and ticketing information for the documentary are still forthcoming for those that wish to attend. If you can’t attend, you can also watch it on the T.H.E. website (includes a short introduction).
- The T.H.E. Group will be launching before Thanksgiving 2021. More details coming soon.
- T.H.E. Show has announced an Official App and is accepting beta testers before official release. To participate send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.