More than 1200 trade visitors attended the National Home Entertainment Show in Sydney last week before doors were opened to the public in the afternoon.
The event saw a raft of international IT and CE vendors on show including LG, Samsung, Sony, BenQ and D-Link. The local industry was also strongly represented courtesy of Altech, Optima and Alloys International. Exhibitors contacted by ARN following the show said it had been a good way of showcasing their wares to a welcoming public.
Alloys International product manager, Phil Gibbs, said it was a good demonstration of convergence and highlighted the changing face of home technologies. "It was great to get feedback from people on the digital home," he said. "It's in its embryonic stage at the moment, but what IT has to offer in this space is exciting."
Australia's largest PC maker, Optima, took part in the show for the first time this year. Product manager, David Choi, said that although he was disappointed with overall public attendance, the event had proved worthwhile in terms of sales and media coverage, particularly for its newly launched Entertainment Media Center PC.
A highlight was having the system covered on Channel 7's Sunrise program.
"We have been receiving some sales-related enquiries this week about the products showcased during the show so I believe it generated some leads," he said.
Samsung CTV and audio product manager, John Fragiadakis, said the show was the first real event that succeeded in bringing IT and AV together.
"I think this really provides a benefit to consumers as a way of seeing what's coming," he said. Altech national sales manager, Kevin Hartin, said the event had met all of his expectations. The distributor was looking forward to participating again next year.
"We consciously went in with our Maestro Media Center PC wanting to put it more on public display rather than just through our channel," he said. "As a distributor, we need to take it a step further by creating end-user demand. The show was a great platform to do that."
The only downside was the focus on selling kit, Hartin said. "I'd prefer to see it as a showcase and less oriented towards doing a deal," he said.
Choi and Fragiadakis both lamented the absence of some tier one vendors including Microsoft and Intel.
"From an industry perspective it would be nice to see more players commit," Fragiadakis said. "This type of show helps us as companies get close to consumers and understand what they are looking to accomplish."
The National Home Entertainment Show was presented by IDG Communications, publisher of ARN.