Thoughts on the Cancellation of the Audio Expo

This year's Audio Expo has been canceled. Given recent years' low-key affairs, this might be only natural. But it is also something to be welcomed. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Japan Audio Society, the cancellation is a manifestation of a desire to fundamentally review the event. Creating a new Audio Expo befitting the twenty-first century is an urgent task.

It is absolutely essential for the industry as a whole to engage in customers enlightenment activities, so if the show were canceled again next year, that would be a real problem. After all, an industry that does not have enlightenment activities is bound to perish. So we should be quick in coordinating an event fit for the twenty-first century.

What I would like to propose is the launching of an original industry event, instead of the society-sponsored show, because we won't be able to satisfy users at all unless we create a system that fits the present high-speed age.

Industry-led events, such as the motor show, are a success. Unless we can break away from the constitution and organization of the society, which is easily influenced by areas that bear little relation to the major positions of the industry, I don't think we can hope for an event that would really be tailored to user needs.

Regarding the new show, first of all leading manufacturers must make a clear decision about whether they are going to take part or not. Then, based on their direction and goals, they should set up a proper organizing committee and start to give shape to the new event. This has to look as far as 10 years ahead and be solidly based in marketing.

Naturally, the foundation will be sound. It is important to approach everything from sound. Even taking something like home theater, sound has to be the focus. It is by creating a total package in combination with the visual aspect that something wonderful is achieved and the customer is satisfied and comes to understand the wonder of sound. That is to say, the basis surely is to understand everything from the perspective of sound. Even the arrival of the age of digital networks is not possible without sound. But, an event that focuses only on sound is not suitable for our age either and is not going to be appealing. What users are looking for is a clever combination of the images that come out of sound and sound itself.

I would also like to propose a simultaneous staging in both English and Japanese on the Internet. By so doing, it would be possible to reach and satisfy an overwhelmingly large number of users who cannot come to the site itself and transform the event from a site-restricted show to a full-scale transmission from Japan. By putting out an English version, we would be able to access the whole world, including China, which is achieving striking development. That really would be an audio-visual show befitting the twenty-first century.

The above are my own personal suggestions. I realize that it is difficult finding a new direction from a mishmash of ideas. But if we don't forge ahead with our eyes on the future, we won't be able to satisfy our twenty-first century users.

Change itself is a natural development. If we are fully aware of that, we can be sure that change will come about in a natural way.

Rather than thinking about things from the standpoint of today, we should try and imagine things from the perspective of the near future. That is, we should respond with the idea of "tomorrow's today"

The basic rule for getting things done is future-present-past, not past-present-future. The more one is caught up in the past, the more conservative one becomes, and progress grinds to a halt. In this landmark year, change should follow this pattern.