AES NY 2023 Attendance Surges by 15%

With more than 8,100 registered attendees and 127 exhibitors, the 155th Audio Engineering Society (AES) International Convention in New York City last month brought together a vibrant community to celebrate the 75th anniversary of AES and the Society’s vast contributions to audio innovation and also commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Participation jumped 15 percent over the 2022 convention, which was the first in-person event since the pandemic.

AES NY 2023 was again co-located with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show New York. The events collectively attracted 20,000-plus registrants, packing the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan with media production professionals from all aspects of the broadcast, streaming, online, live, and recorded entertainment and information industries.

Reflecting on the impact of the convention, attendee JW Newson remarked, “Through AES, the convention has made a huge, prolific impact on my life. In addition to networking, seeing individuals at a high level who not only look like me, think like me, and think differently, it allows us all to come together to be free.”

The 2023 AES Convention featured more than 500 of the brightest minds in audio delivering more than 250 tutorials, workshops, paper presentations, and panel discussions covering the expansive landscape of professional audio. Topics covered included applications and best practices, case studies and historical perspectives from venerated audio pioneers, equipment and software developments, and innovations in both fundamental and emerging technologies with deep dives into AI audio applications and immersive audio.

Renowned hip-hop pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Hank Shocklee served as keynote speaker, sitting down with award-winning producer/engineer AES Governor Prince Charles Alexander to discuss the creative uses of audio that enabled hip-hop and how the growth of the genre fueled further audio innovation. The keynote set the stage for additional celebratory special sessions that further explored hip-hop’s history across decades and its lasting impact on audio production.

Last year’s AES convention and NAB Show New York shared an exhibition hall. This year, AES’s 20+% growth in the exhibitor count, and the resulting bigger footprint, pushed each group back into their own halls. The juxtaposition of cutting edge and foundational technologies on display in the AES NY 2023 Exhibition Hall was exemplified by AES Sustaining Member Eventide Audio’s booth. The storied processing innovator unveiled both cutting-edge immersive sound plug-ins alongside an anniversary reissue edition of the venerated and coveted Omnipressor® analog hardware unit that introduced the concept of dynamics processing as an audio effect five decades ago.

“We were socked in with attendees from open to close during the Convention,” commented Eventide General Manager and AES Fellow/Gold Medal recipient Tony Agnello. “There’s nothing virtual that can replace the hands-on opportunities for attendees and the face-to-face interaction with members of our society. Simply put, the AES show floor delivers.”

“We celebrated the vibrant spirit of our Society and paid homage to a remarkable seven-and-a-half decades of audio innovation and collaboration,” said AES President Bruce Olson. “The impact that the AES has made on what the world hears can’t be overstated. The convention was mesmerizing. The gathering in one space of thousands of audio professionals that share a true passion for the industry is a truly uplifting experience.”

“AES NY 2023 was very enjoyable,” said B&H Marketing & Events Logistics Coordinator Martin Luque. “It was my first year attending, and I look forward to many more. The attendees, a warm energetic crowd mostly of audio creators and educators, made the whole event so much fun. I made some great connections, and I’m thankful AES gave us this opportunity.”

The next AES International Convention will be held in Madrid, Spain, June 15-17, 2024. AES will return to New York’s Javits Center in October 2024.