Back from AIO 2016 (Boston)
To all the people who were at AIO in Boston this year, it was great seeing you! I don't get out of the shop very often so it is nice being able to put faces to voices I've talked to over the years.
As I drove down, and Henry was already paying for a hotel room, my husband (Brian) and daughter (Deborah) joined me for a road trip. Deborah got to spend her 10th birthday on this trip, great place to be for a kid who loves any kind of food that comes out of the ocean. We actually split the drive up over 2 days, leaving right after work on Friday. We probably could have done it in 1 day, but as any parent knows, long drives make cranky kids, who in turn make cranky parents, besides the Best Western we stayed at Friday night had a pool and free waffles for breakfast: happy kid! :)
Set up in the exhibit hall started early Sunday morning, but Henry and I didn't start until later, we didn't bring a lot so even though it was just the two of us it didn't take too long. Besides, half of our display / demonstration was actually still in the shop in Markham.
Many people were interested in our demonstration. We brought a single manual with pistons and a large monitor. The manual and pistons were connected via MIDI/USB to my laptop, which then, via Wifi in the showroom, connected over the internet to our shop in Markham. We had set up our server at home to then send the MIDI messages to our 4 manual test console. We also set up a live webcam which came back to Boston so people could control and see what was happening back in the shop. We also had a PixelC tablet at the show which was connected to the console back at the shop, this showed the control panel available and how organists can set up multiple users, and builders can do preliminary diagnostics before they leave the shop, or turn on pipes from a table, while in the chamber.
Three organs which we did control systems for were on the tours. The organs at Boston Symphony Hall, Merrill Auditorium in Portland Maine, and Church of the Covenant in Boston. Coincidentally I did the engineering for all three of them. At Boston Symphony Hall they took out all the chairs so there was a big open space for the pipes to sound, the instrument probably never sounded better, the organist playing the instrument then gave a dry 40 minuet recital. At Merrill Auditorium they took the back off the console so people could see inside, and see our hardware prominently displayed.
Boston Symphony Hall
Merrill Auditorium Console Front Merrill Auditorium Console back
The exhibit nights were well attended for the early part of the evening, but later in the evenings about the only people in the hall were exhibitors. Laukhuff had a 'ball dropping machine' set up which was quite popular with several people. The motors at the side and bottom would move pieces of wood which had groves cut in them, the balls would drop from the top, movement of the motors would shift which track the balls followed, when the balls reached the bottom a step action would bring them back to the top.
Like AIO 2015, we had a daily prize draw at our booth. People could drop their business card in a bowl, and shortly before exhibits closed on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, a name was drawn. I made sure the person drawing the name had nothing to do with Classic Organ (like a hotel employee). The results are:
Sunday: Wavetek logic probe and mini diagnostic kit won by Bill Landolina
Monday: Wireless remote control from banggood.com and a 4 in 1 tool pen won by Ben Lewis
Wednesday: Kikkerland Gooseneck Flexible Phone Holder won by Christopher Walton
Tuesday was devoted to organ tours, so the exhibits weren't open.
We were fed well, many people commented on the food. A few people also commented that they loved the all-you-can-eat prime rib dinner available in the hotel's restaurant Friday and Saturday for under $20. Sometime I'm going to have to ask my brother (he's a chef in a hotel) why meals in the banquet rooms always cost three times as much as the restaurant.
Next year's AIO will be at the Hilton in Fort Collins, Colorado, October 1-4