I just returned from the PotLuck Audio Conference, or PotLuckCon, a two-day mini-trade-show that grew out of TapeOpCon. It’s the most enjoyable, interconnected, informational trade show I’ve ever been a part of, and that includes multiple AES, NAMM, and NAB conventions. Run by Craig and Karen Schumacher, it’s set in the lovely desert environs of Tuscon, AZ — not the first place that springs to mind when you think “serious sound city”, but it will be, if you’re in the recording business. The Schumachers and their dedicated volunteers impressed everyone I spoke with — the depth of the panel discussions, and breadth of the exhibitor offerings, and the warmth of the people and place were all exemplary.
It’s the panel discussions that really make this show a treat — industry insiders give their take on many core subjects and practices, and the “Practical Acoustics” panel I was on was no exception. Differences of opinion and widespread agreements were equally present, and I think the people in attendance were given a lot of informational choices to help them make their rooms sound better.
As a first-time PotLuck exhibitor and panelist, I was well taken care of and always informed when changes were coming. The range of businesses exhibiting at the show was impressive, from boutique electronics companies (my pal Dan Kennedy of Great River Electronics has been a steady presence there for years) to big-name national manufacturers like Shure and SSL. I spoke with many exhibitors I had seen at much larger trade shows, and every one of them was happy to be at PotLuckCon.
It can be difficult for a company to get product information out to the people who could really benefit from it. I found the PotLuckCon attendees were very well informed, and were happy to hear about what makes our products unique. And as a former “studio rat”, I was more than happy to trade recording stories with those who wanted a bit more inside info. It was absolutely great fun and highly worthwhile. If you’re in the recording biz as a self-recording artist, as an engineer, or as a manufacturer, I highly recommend this show. See you there next year!