Teh AVA Expo in Sandton City was billed as the largest expo for audio-video appliances in South Africa. While it was true, that a wide range of brands were represented - overall, it was a rather dull affair in my opinion. I have been building a specification for a full blown entertainment system in my head, and thus my interest in the expo - although I have learnt more through visiting individual shops than at the expo itself.
For starters, while there were live demos; most stands did not bother with demonstrations of various components and systems. Thus, for many, it was more of a paper exercise of what their systems can do instead of really showcasing what the systems can do. I do understand the constraints placed by the environment, but then the organisers and exhibitors should have thought better ways to do demonstrations.
Secondly, if the purpose was not to showcase, then the retail aspect was not that great either. Almost every system on the floor (from a AV perspective at least), had the same price as the that in the retail stores. The manufacturer reps, although fairly knowledgable on the products, did not have suffcient knowledge of all the retailers that stock their products (or were not allowed to divulge this information due to conflicts with exhibitors).
For me, the worst part of the show however was the lack of knowledge, coupled with some really bad service from some of the exhibitors. At the SONY stand (which incidentally had won the stand of the year award), the guys manning the stands had neither the product specifications, nor the pricing of the various TVs on show. Likewise, at the Mede8tor stand (a product, I am quite keen to look at) the attendant started to have a chat with a friend that walked by, leaving myself and another prospective customer alone - even though he was actually mid sentence describing the product!