posted on Saturday, 29th September 2012 by Steve May
This year's What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision Awards event proved as lavish and spectacular as ever. In the new media landscape this feat in itself probably deserves an award. Back in the heyday of home entertainment consumer magazines, the autumn calendar was once peppered with AV and Hi-Fi trophy ceremonies. But things change. Today the Haymarket-published juggernaut is the last mag standing. The only other similar ceremonies of any size from consumer facing print media are held by gadget bibles T3 and Stuff.
So seizing on the opportunity to celebrate and mingle with peers, the industry collectively donned Black Tie and posh frocks and headed to the Dorchester hotel London, determined to have a good time - regardless of whether awards were collected or not. As a networking event, the What Hi-Fi? Awards remain without equal. All key industry and media people are in attendance. Naturally the Inside CI team joined the party, invited along as guests of Epson and JVC.
The mood of attendees was upbeat. Mayur Malde, director of Musical Images, told Inside CI that the install side of his business was doing well, with multi-room audio now a big draw. Increasing awareness of AirPlay-enabled devices now proving a big hook for customers. Epson was equally bullish, with Phil Gibbs confiding that the brand had enjoyed a dramatic increase in business from the CI sector over the past 12 months.
The format for the event itself remains unchanged: champagne and aperitifs, splendid food, ribald entertainment and then the prize-giving ceremony itself. Hosting duties this year fell to the magazine's Deputy Ed Simon Lucas and BBC The One show presenter Alex Jones. If Lucas, who has been Acting Editor since the departure of Dominic Dawes (now part of the Andy Giles Associates PR organisation), was nervous it didn't show. The presentation was slick and entertaining.
Interestingly, in today's era of instant news and live blogging, What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision maintains a decidedly old-school approach when it comes to gong-giving, embargoing all coverage of the winners until a Special Awards edition of the magazine is published later in the month. "The first rule about the What Hi-Fi? Awards is that you don't talk about the What Hi-Fi? Awards," Lucas chided his audience. Hashtags were definitely not welcome. So no news of who has won what here, I'm afraid. Suffice to say the results should delight, confound and confuse in equal measure - which is exactly the way it should be.
What we can reveal though that the shindig entertained on a grand scale, the audience leaving suitably reminded of just what a great business they're all part of.
What Hi-Fi? (the Sound & Vision suffix came later) was launched back in 1977, spun from another magazine entitled Popular Hi-Fi. Today it's licensed to dozens of publishers around the world and remains the most recognised consumer brand in Hi-Fi and AV. www.whathifi.com has over a million unique visitors a month.
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.
posted by Steve May
New Microsoft all-in-one XO games system wants to "change everything..."More...
posted by Steve May
New vibrational sound upgrade for top plaster-in AIW750E DMLMore...