"Our exhibitor count was up over 10% to 120 exhibitors filling 157 booths. Between attendees, exhibitor personnel, media, guests, and artists, we issued well over 1,500 credentials. Although growth is good, we don't focus so much on getting bigger as we do on improving the show experience for everyone who comes. That focus has helped the show mature into one of the preeminent international percussion industry events. We are seeing more press coverage, more social media attention, and more exhibitors using the show to make news of their own."
Clinics and master classes
The 2014 clinic program included Mike Semerau, Curt Bisquera, Stanton Moore, Chip Ritter, Jason Sutter, and JoJo Mayer.
The conference room used for master classes was fully booked this year, as it was also used for for special presentations. Rick Gier led a session on dating Gretsch and Ludwig drums by serial number. Gary Astridge led two sessions on the drums that Ringo used with the Beatles. The 2014 Rebeats Roundtable theme was 'Careers In The Percussion Industry', moderated by Karl Dustman with panelists Paul Wertico, Todd Trent, and Jim Catalano.
The Rebeats Cafe, a 'second stage' with seating and drum-themed tables, was used for presentations, the raffle drawing, and a performance by steel drum band Potts And Pans. New for the Cafe in 2014 was the addition of Jim Messina's live interviews. Messina is the host of the popular online show Vintage Drums Talk and was continuously recording interviews on the Cafe stage with Mike Curotto, Daniel Glass, Mark Cooper, Joe Luoma, Mark Cooper, Bun E Carlos and many other industry luminaries.
The drum show raffle continues to grow in popularity, with thousands of dollars of donated product given away this year. There were snare drums from Ludwig, Gretsch, DW, Cold Mountain, Pearl, Mayer Bros, Kumu, and Yamaha as well as other products from SKB, Kelly Shu, Taye, Sabian, and others.
As the 2015 show will be the 25th Anniversary show, planning is already well underway to make it a special event. Rob reports it will be a 3-day show on May 15, 16, and 17th, with more of everything that the Chicago Drum Show is known for. Already confirmed artist for a clinic at the drum show are Will Calhoun, Cindy Blackman Santana, Paul Wertico, and Dave Mattacks. The Roundtable will be 'British Invasion Drummers', moderated by Bob Henrit.
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