After another successful edition of what is undisputedly a continually growing and evolving trade fair, LightSoundJournal took the opportunity to speak with Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager for Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, to gain some reflective thoughts on this year’s Prolight & Sound Guangzhou.
LightSoundJournal: Can you give us an overview of the statistics from the 2017 edition of the show?
Ms Judy Cheung: Held from 22 – 25 February 2017, the 15th edition of Prolight + Sound Guangzhou has surpassed earlier instalments with a phenomenal attendance of 73,986 visitors, marking an 8.1% increase from 2016. A total of 1,250 exhibitors staged a full spectrum of pro audio and lighting advancements within 13 thematic halls, the Y channel and the entire outdoor space in Area A at the China Import & Export Fair Complex. Newcomers to this edition include Antelope Audio, BOSCH, DYNACORD, Fohhn, IAG, Konig & Meyer, RCF, SGM, TECNARE and TOA.
This year’s show saw a large international presence of leading industry names from 26 countries and regions. They are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and the US.
This year’s success underlines the effective partnership that we’ve been committed to building, as well as the pioneering position of the show in the industry. In the future, we will continue to upgrade our offerings under the motto of ‘Shine on the World Stage’, placing a stronger focus in product quality and variety, brand appeal as well as internationality.
LightSoundJournal: I noticed that Prolight + Sound Guangzhou is getting more and more organised. What have been the major changes to make this possible?
Ms Judy Cheung: To provide an effective business platform for our industry peers, we constantly evaluate and implement new show measures to enhance the existing hall arrangement and show product profile. We also keep ourselves at the forefront of the industry by bringing what the market needs to this platform to help industry peers capitalise on the abundant opportunities available in the market.
One of the most prominent changes to the show is the strategic establishment of the Audio Brand Name Halls in 2013. Starting from only one hall in its first year, this edition has expanded to accommodate over 280 exhibitors across 4 halls. Year by year, our halls are growing not only in terms of size, but also in the quality of participating brands and product spectrum. We’re thrilled to see the global leading audio brands all present to unveil their advancements. Some of the leading exhibiting brands in these halls include Allen & Heath, BOSCH, BOSE, d&b Audiotechnik, dB Technologies, Harman, Powersoft, Sennheiser, Shure and Yamaha.
Many companies highlighted their best product of its portfolio at the show. Some novelty highlights this year include the CL series digital mixing consoles and TF-Rack digital mixers by Yahama and the ShowMatch™ DeltaQ™ array loudspeakers by Bose Professional Systems. Harman also presented the latest JBL portable Nano speakers and Soundcraft Ui24 digital mixing system.
The continued participation of renowned brands annually have surely made the Audio Brand Name Halls one of the signature features of the show. In the future, we will continue to improve on the hall layouts to provide a concentrated overview of the high-end audio market to both exhibitors and visitors.
Also contributing to the show’s improved organisation is the setup of special product zones. This year, we further broadened the fair’s product profile in response to the explosive demands for the karaoke and theatre markets in China. The new “Theatre K. Pub” at Y Channel bolstered the product line-up, offering buyers the latest advancements in the sectors of mini and home theatres, customised installations, smart digital AV, and system integration.
Other exhibitors are grouped by product categories across different halls to help buyers navigate the large show area. This year, in addition to the Audio Brand Name Halls and new zones, a wide array of audio and lighting equipment were also unveiled in the Pro Audio Halls, Lighting Halls, KTV Hall, the Enping Microphone Hall, as well as zones for conference systems, PA systems, headphones, microphones, and accessories.
The outdoor line array is also an indispensable part of Prolight + Sound Guangzhou as it helps showgoers compare the best audio systems available in the market all under one roof. To increase the sourcing efficiency, the showcase was divided into international and oriental brands from this edition. 28 leading companies demonstrated their professional stage sound systems across 3 areas in the outdoor exhibition space.
Together, the 13 thematic halls, new zones and the outdoor area provided a more detailed product categorisation that increased the matching between exhibitors and visitors, increased buyers’ sourcing efficiency, and accomodated the ever-rising demand of specific product categories in the market.
LightSoundJournal: What is the main feedback that you have received from exhibitors and visitors so far? What needs have they asked you to address the most?
Miss Judy Cheung: The 2017 edition was supported by a strong line-up of key players and professional visitors around the world, many of whom had a positive feedback about the show. Most comments revolved around the vibrant atmosphere, the high-calibre visitors, the enhanced product categorisation, as well as the comprehensiveness of the fringe programme.
As pointed out by many exhibitors, there was an exceptional increase in visitors this year. The huge visitor flow onsite enabled them to gain a lot of contacts from an international audience from the whole supply chain. Many companies were also contented with the professionalism of visitors.
There was also unanimous agreement on a more defined product segmentation across the 13 thematic halls. We are also pleased to learn that the special product zone “Theatre K. Pub” has surpassed industry expectations, with both exhibitors and visitors claiming how it helped them understand the newest market trends in the booming karaoke and mini theatre markets in China.
The comprehensive fringe programme also turned out to be a great success. With extensive support from industry associations and organisations from Asia, Europe and the US, we gathered an international profile of speakers at the show who imparted knowledge on a broad range of topics related to audio engineering, sound production, KTV, stage design, installation and system integration. Speakers and participants were generally happy with the renewed focus of the fringe programme on market trends, technical knowledge and business strategies as it helped them navigate the dynamic pro audio and lighting landscape.
The PLSG Annual Training Course was one of the most popular events during the show. Many participants deemed that the training was relevant and useful for their business, and it also benefited the industry by opening up constructive dialogues between international and local specialists. Attendees were especially enthusiastic about the development of Dante technology in China, safety practices in live events, as well as the latest advancements in recording and multimedia technology.
We are humbled by the strong feedback from exhibitors and visitors. As the show organiser, we equally value their needs and demands because their opinions help us improve the show to better serve the interests of the industry. After intensive dialogues, we have highlighted some major needs and concerns from the pro audio and lighting sectors.
One of them is the surging demand for high end audio products in China, especially for the home audio and broadcast sectors. To accommodate these demands, we established the Audio Brand Name Halls and have provided a prime platform for reputable brands to reach out to high quality visitors. We’ve seen very encouraging results since its launch and will continue to implement new changes to these halls to bring the best elements of the high-end audio market to our show.
With the vigourous development in the entertainment industry, there is also a rising need for advanced imaging technology applied in shopping malls, theme parks and other performing venues. To this end, Prolight + Sound Guangzhou will also explore and expand its repertoire of events and products in the sectors of hotel, travel, infocommunication and smart home to help attendees capture the tremendous opportunities in the market.
LightSoundJournal: What are the biggest challenges to overcome when organising this vital and ambitious show?
Ms Judy Cheung: Starting off as only a regional event, Prolight + Sound Guangzhou has made impressive strides to become one of the largest and most acclaimed business platforms for the pro audio and industry in 15 years’ of time.
As we reflect on the challenges that we have undertaken during this journey, one of the most difficult tasks was to maintain our competitive edge. Upholding our position as one of the leading fairs in the industry surely requires strenuous efforts, but I believe it can be achieved through the following objectives – enriching our show offerings, improving the internationality of the show, and keeping ourselves in line with the latest market trends.
As I’ve mentioned before, to further expand our product profile, we continuously seek to improve the existing hall arrangement and launch new features to help visitors capture new and emerging markets. I’m glad that the 13 thematic halls and the new Theatre K. Pub were well-received by our industry this year. In the future, we will continue to provide an encompassing range of products that covers the whole supply chain.
To maintain our competitiveness in the pro audio and market, it is equally important to enhance the international profile of our exhibitors and visitors. Internationality will remain one of our core focus and we will strive to increase the show’s influence on the world stage.
Last but not least, it is essential for us to stay in tandem with the newest market trends. As many attendees regard Prolight + Sound Guangzhou as the industry benchmark, they rely on us to obtain forward-thinking insights and technologies. Building on this year’s success, we will continue to create more avenues for exhibitors and visitors to engage in technological collaborations, promote innovations and breed cutting-edge ideas.
You can read our full report from Prolight & Sound Guangzhou 2017 HERE.
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