Hosted by Full Sail University, the inaugural SoundGirls Expo was presented at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL on July 14 and July 15, 2018. Organized by the local Orlando SoundGirls Chapter, the event featured a number of panel discussions, seminars, and audio manufacturer demos and training sessions. Allen & Heath was a featured expo vendor alongside companies such as Analog Way, Clear Tune Monitors, and Shure.
Supported by independent professional audio manufacturers’ rep firm, Mainline Marketing, the event garnered rave reviews from attendees and participating audio companies. "I was thrilled to be able to participate in this inaugural event on behalf of Shure. It was extremely gratifying to share our collective knowledge with such a great crew of future women in audio,” said Laura Clapp Davidson, eastern retail market development specialist for Shure.
According to Chet Neal, mainline marketing technical specialist, “Being from live production, I totally got behind the initiative of the SoundGirls organization. I had a blast coordinating the event with our manufacturers and working with the women that represented them was flat out awesome. At one point, we had a group effort to show a few of the attendees ‘live’ just how to set up Shure digital wireless gear, including Axient with monitoring and control from the Allen & Heath dLive.”
Beckie Campbell, founder of B4 Media Production and participating SoundGirl Expo sponsor, said, “I personally think the ability of Allen & Heath consoles to be so versatile and flexible with additional stage boxes and configurations makes everything from festival patching to church stage tech design a lot easier. I also love the ability to monitor my Shure ULX-D system right from the surface without having to leave my FOH position. A lot of the SoundGirls that attended had never seen that feature and were really impressed.”
In addition to informative training sessions and interactive gear displays, the event highlighted and supported the SoundGirls organizational mission, “to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production, providing the tools, knowledge, and support to further their careers.” Campbell said, “One of the SoundGirls I talked to this last weekend told me she got emotional seeing all the women in one place learning from other women on the consoles and on the Shure system and the IEMs and so on. She said she had always been one of the only girls in the field and she was so encouraged to be surrounded by women running top-of-the-line gear in the real world. It was great hearing just how energized she was by the event.”
Willa Snow, live audio technician at One World Theatre in Austin, TX, presented an overview of the Allen & Heath dLive to expo attendees and demonstrated the dLive and SQ Series consoles in the exhibit area throughout the show. “I was honored and completely over the moon when Mike Bangs (Allen & Heath USA live sound touring manager) reached out to me to cover this event! I've been a member of SoundGirls since it first started back in 2012, and my first live audio console was an Allen & Heath MixWizard, so this experience was very near and dear to my heart. I adore the flexibility and intuitiveness of both the dLive and SQ systems, and being able to share them with fellow female techs and gearheads was truly special.”
Jeff Hawley, Allen & Heath USA Marketing Manager commented, “Allen & Heath has been a longtime supporter of the SoundGirls organization and we were particularly excited to be on board for this inaugural SoundGirls Expo event. Willa and Chet and the Mainline team set the bar high in this first year and we look forward to going even bigger next time around.”