What Audio Show to Attend?

I'm planning on buy either a new or new used pair of the speakers in the upcoming year and want to attend an audio show to do some extensive auditioning. I was originally thinking of going to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October. However, picking up the latest of edition of the Absolute Sound, I saw ads for other Audio shows in New York (Audio and AV show at the Waldorf Astoria) as well as Axponia in Jacksonville, Florida. I think there's another audio show in California as well. To those that have attended these shows, can you offer up any recommendations? I'm travelling from Western Canada so I want to make this worthwhile. Thanks in advance!

I would suggest attending the upcoming show in Montreal and then RMAF (if you don't find anything at the Montreal show.
Also from the Calgary area I have been fortunate to have been in Montreal on business (well timed....) and made my way to the show twice in the last 5 years - always been worth my time invested.
Save your money and don't attend any show, put the money you save into better speakers. None of these shows will be of any help in making the speaker decision, trust me, I have been to over 70 shows, they are all beauty parades. Seek out a local dealer and have him give you a loaner pair to listen to in your home.
I couldn't disagree more with Bucanero117's comment. Attending an audio show gives you the opportunity to see more diverse gear than you will ever see going to individual dealers in 5 years time. Plus the fun factor is off the charts. Finally there is absolutely no pressure to buy and frequently there are very good show discounts. The last amp I purchased at a show directly from the distributor cost me less than buying from a dealer. Every audiophile should attend at least one show and RMAF is currently the best. I will be attending Axpona next month due to the location.

If you have never been to a show before I would like to offer some suggestions. You need to do your own homework. That would mean make a list of products you would like to see and hear and then check the list of exhibitors for each show. Contact the exhibitors who have products you are interested in to find out what products they will be showing and with what associated equipment. If you really don't know what you want to hear and are just looking for ideas then pick a larger show.

Otherwise you could be in for major disappointment. It is nice to find surprises at a show so keep your options open. But it is also possible to be disappointed in a major way if you are looking for something specific and don't do some research before you go.

Shows can also be a lot of fun if you are able to hang loose and just enjoy the ride. But if you are spending big dollars and traveling a long way with a specific agenda you would probably want more than that.

That said I can recommend RMAF and this show in Newport Beach, CA http://www.theshownewport.com/
There's a show in San Francisco in August. It'll be the third year for this particular show. Go to www.caaudioshow.com for more info. The exhibitor list has not yet posted but you can refer to the list for 2011 to give you an idea. I went the first year. It was my very first so I cannot compare it to others. I would certainly go again. I think there's some review info if you search.
I think that Don s had sage advice that should be considered.

Also, I've been to the Newport Beach show and one of the things people kept commenting on was how they were able to bring their favorite software--cds, vinyl, etc--and demo on the systems that the exhibitors had. This was a plus for me.

But re-read Don s's post and take it from there.
CES is best ...period !..
The CES is not open to the public. So how goes a normal citizen gain access to a consumer electronics show geared for industry officils?

What are the requirements for attending International CES?

International CES is not open to the general public. You must be in the consumer electronics industry to be eligible to attend the show. Our attendees are made up of more than 140,000 individuals including manufacturers, retailers, content providers and creators, broadband developers, installers, engineers, corporate buyers, government leaders, financial analysts and the media — representing the United States, Canada, Mexico and approximately 140 other countries. All attendees must be at least 18 years of age. Two forms of identification are required on-site (one photo ID and one proof of business affiliation/business card).
Thank you for your suggestions and advice. I've been doing a bit of research on the shows and many of their websites don't have their exhibitor lists posted yet. I have a list of brands that I would like to audition (based on TAS, Stereophile, etc reviews), but I was hoping to also discover new brands that I may not have considered in the past...perhaps some less known companies that produce a quality product. Do most of these companies sell their show samples during the show?
Dagogo is the closest for me in No. California.
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was great, but the Newport T.H.E. Show in June this year will surpass it by doubling the number of exhibitors over last year's show. Additionally, the RMAF is a 40 minute taxi or van ride to the Tech Center Marriott. The Newport Show is a snap; fly directly into John Wayne Airport and literally walk across the street to the Hilton Hotel hosting the show! Book now! If you get bored you can go to Newport Beach and enjoy woofers and tweeters of a different sort!
Rocky mountain and Ces. I missed both :\