A game of two halves. Not a cringeworthy 1970s slice of British football commentary but the 2017 Warsaw AV Show. The three-day event runs across two distinct areas of town with shuttle buses and taxis moving visitors between the two zones.
Near the central railway station, the Radisson Blu Sobieski and Golden Tulip hotels house 70+ exhibitors. A few kilometres down the road and, the PGE National Stadium accommodates a further 140 rooms plus a headphone area to rival CanJam Europe.
Per show organiser Adam Mokrzycki’s advice, I spent day one (Friday) hotel-side in order to dodge the flood of attendees forecast for Saturday. (And boy did they arrive in big numbers).
What does an audio show look and sound like in Poland? And what kind of music gets played? Let’s find out:
It wasn’t only the hotels that would reach attendee capacity on Saturday afternoon. By midday, many stadium-based spaces were standing room only, rendering all but the most casual listening impossible.
Fortunately, I arrived a little before the official 10am kick-off to shoot a selection of rooms before filming also became impossible.
In this Stadium-shot video we see the crowds go from zero to hero in two hours. On scale and attendees numbers, Warsaw stomps all over CES and North American regional shows.
With 14,000 show attendees expected to flood the hallways of this, its 21st year of operation, Mokrzycki’s AV Show is more show-and-tell than product demo space. Unrealistic to see this show as a place to audition gear. Instead, people come to oggle what’s new. And the Polish do so with an enthusiasm not seen by this commentator since Hong Kong 2016. Jaded they are not.
Clearly manufacturers view the AV Show as a force to be reckoned with. That Sonus Faber chose to launch the latest iteration of their Aida loudspeaker (€82,000/pair) is a clear sign that in Europe, Warsaw in November plays second fiddle only to Munich High-End in May.
Further information: AV Show Warsaw