The PASIC virtual trade showfloor.

January 14, 2021 I Convention

The Virtual Beat Goes On

By Katie Kailus

From Nov. 13–14, 2020, the drumming community gathered virtually to celebrate the annual PASIC show — two full days of drumming clinics and performances, as well as a virtual trade show that connected drum manufacturers and players. As of late November, 2,500 attendees had registered, with numbers continuing to increase as PASIC made content available online until Dec. 31, 2020.

“The staff always had high expectations for what the convention could be,” said Joshua Simonds, executive director of PASIC. “Where I think we exceeded expectations was [by providing] an experience that was more than just a platform to watch videos on. Nothing can live up to the expectation of comparing an in-person convention to an online convention but, looking back at what we accomplished, I think we’re all very happy with the final product.”

And suppliers who partook in the virtual trade show agreed.

Major drum suppliers, including Zildjian, Pearl, Roland, Yamaha, Tama, Remo and more, all participated in the trade show portion of the virtual conference, which — based on the level of the exhibitor — allowed the company to chat and conduct video meetings with attendees.

“We had the opportunity with the virtual booth to tell more of the Yamaha story,” said Joel Tetzlaff, marketing development for Yamaha’s percussion and drums division. “This would be difficult to achieve with a traditional booth or trade show, and we’re looking for ways to incorporate this with future events. The virtual event also mitigated the typical challenges of choosing between events occurring at the same time.”

Pat Kennedy, Roland’s product manager for drums and percussion, said the ability to meet with the attendees and members of the drumming community through video calls or individual chat threads was “one of the best perks” of the show.

“This feature was included within our booth, meaning that no one had to venture outside the platform to directly engage with our V-Drums specialists,” Kennedy explained. “We were also able to include a buy-now button for those who decided that it was time to join the ever-growing V-Drums family.”

While PASIC’s virtual trade show provided suppliers with a space to connect with end-users, Tetzlaff said sales were not the first priority for attending the show.

“It’s about connecting with educators and elevating awareness for our educational solutions,” he explained. “Our main goal is to become a trusted partner and resource for educators by providing them with the tools to build stronger music programs. The virtual show allowed us to connect with a few new and future educators and catch up with our extended family.” MI

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