Live Entertainment Expo TOKYO, this year at its 4th edition, is an event dedicated to the “production” industry. Staged in Chiba, a small town located South East of the centre of Tokyo, the event was held in May, in conjunction with “Event Expo Tokyo”. This offers visitors to the show a truly extensive overview of the world of production. The stands occupying the two symmetrical pavilions, one dedicated to professional entertainment and the other at the events, were certainly heterogeneous, but always with a strong link to show business in its various forms. On the one side, Event Expo TOKYO is a platform for companies specialising, for example, in catering and communication, whereas Live Entertainment Expo houses companies more closely related to the world of professional audio and lighting, as well sectors focusing on video, effects and robots.
It is appropriate to say that this “heterogeneous” combination doesn’t necessarily or at all represent the expectations of the exhibitors, but rather the interpretation that the organisation wanted to give to a market, in this case the Japanese market. Perhaps it is more than fair to say that this show is specifically designed and tailored for an audience and marketplace that has different needs than other markets worldwide, and one that lives and grows around a series of different and equally important events.
In particular, the part of Live Entertainment Expo Tokyo – ultimately the show that falls best into our specialisms – has proved to be especially interesting, integrating commonly unseen aspects of technology such as robotics and advanced tooling. These are technologies that can be particularly useful for the events industry, in particular sporting events, media events and concerts. Among the many discoveries made at the show, we have discovered control systems for automated camera equipment, drones with amazing precision and power, and highly flexible and interactive intelligent lighting systems. There were a great many professional audio and lighting brands at the show, although, as was clear from the outset, the organisation’s vision for the show was not to simply re-launch a “traditional” show, made up of only loudspeakers and intelligent lighting, but rather to take a new path. This previously untrodden route offers visitors a spectrum of technologies and possibilities, ones which are even more diverse and functional to the various types of events that form part of the entertainment sector.
To gain an even better level of understanding and insight into the vision of this fair, we held an exclusive interview with Mr. Suzuki, General Manager of Live Entertainment Expo TOKYO, after the close of the event.
Mr. Suzuki: Talking with exhibitors and visitors, the show had even more enthusiasm and excitement when compared with the last edition. Number of exhibitors increased to 442, with the number of visitors increasing 20% to 22,719 attendees. Also, a total of 9,876 industry players attended the conference. Held together with Event Expo Tokyo, Japan’s largest exhibition for the event industry, the show has become an essential event for Equipment Rental Companies, Equipment Distributors, Event Hall Owners, Event Promoters and Organisers to see and compare the latest offerings to the market.
LightSoundJournal: What was your vision when you went about organising the show?
Mr. Suzuki: The Japanese Live Entertainment Industry is booming, and we aimed to create a business platform where all kinds of business involved in Displays, Audio, Lighting, and Stage Effects can gather at once. Now, supported by top industry leaders as Advisory Committees, it has established its position as a platform to experience and compare the latest developments in these industries.
LightSoundJournal: What do you expect from future editions of this trade show?
Mr. Suzuki: We hope for the show to become the Asian hub for the live entertainment industry. The exhibitors will become more international, because most of the Japanese visitors have strong demand to see the latest live equipment from Europe/USA, who are leading the industry.
Also, the visitors will become more international, because many Japanese live/concert producers are targeting Asia, and the stage effects are being exported to those countries. Once those Japanese stage effects are implemented to those regions, other regional producers will also be interested in using something similar.
LightSoundJournal: What are your plans to further improve the Expo, encouraging important and international Audio and Lighting brands to attend the show in the future and embrace this “new” concept of a Live Entertainment trade show?
Mr. Suzuki: We plan to collaborate heavily with international media, in order to widely promote Live Entertainment Expo to the global market. It is also important to introduce the attendees’ requirements, as well as listen to suggestions as to what they would like to see from the major players from Europe and the USA.
Many companies targeting sports events exhibited at the “Fixed Equipment Area”, and I’m sure the fact that global leading audio companies such as D&B and BOSE exhibited this year will encourage other global companies to target Japan and exhibit at Live Entertainment Expo.
By launching “Sports Business Expo Tokyo” besides Live Entertainment Expo next year, the event will attract even more professionals from pro-sports industries, who are eager to find the latest lighting and sound effects and broadcasting systems.
LightSoundJournal: Could you share some “statistics” with our readers?
Mr. Suzuki: Certainly, the initial figures are looking as follows:
- – Number of Exhibitors: 442
- – Exhibition Attendees: 22,719
- – Seminar Attendees: 9,876
LightSoundJournal also took the opportunity to speak with some exhibitors of the fair, to further gauge their reactions and attitudes towards the show.
“Very interesting as you can see from these exhibitors what the current trends are, and what are packaged to be sold.” said by Mr. Daito Manabe, Executive at Rhizomatiks Research.
Mr. Naoki Shimizu, President of Creative Man, says “Simply interesting. If you are organising live events and festivals, everything you need is here.”
Speaking in more depth, a representative of PIKABON (Japan) said “We are a second-time exhibitor. We choose Live Entertainment Expo TOKYO because we can meet specialists and directly discuss with clients here. We actually started business with the customers we met here last year. I am happy with the results this year as well. PIKABON (Global brand name: Fanlight) differs from the wireless pen lights of other companies in its extremely compact control system: easy to set up, organizer-friendly. The colors of each pen light can be controlled, which realizes customized lighting effects at the concerts, theme parks and events. The organizer can control the colors as precisely as they want to, by installing the seat layout into the system. We are developing further innovative technology. We are coming back to launch our latest products here at this show next year.”
RGB link (China) said “It’s been very good for us. The show has a good quality people and it’s a good chance to really meet and engage with people in the industry. As a growing company, we very much value the impact of the Japanese customers. I take this exhibition is growing, and it’s getting more momentum.”
DOX Drone (Japan), who presented their latest range of drones at the show, stated “It is our first time at Live Entertainment Expo TOKYO. We are surprised by the good feedback by the visitors, and the number of visitors, which both we didn’t expected at all before the show. We discussed business with a good number of prospects. We are satisfied with the outcome. “DOX Drone” is a drone camera with a unique appearance. It is completely covered by the panel and lights, and people even cannot tell it is a drone at a first glance. Not only having LED lights directly on the drone, we have an LED screen displaying letters and synchronized music. This new technology can be utilized at various events, concerts, and for promotions. Maximum load is approx. 14kg. There will be more new LED products and video technologies in the market. We are also going to develop something new by the next show.”
So, as you can see, this is a show that seems to have gained a considerable level of respect and appreciation from exhibitors, resulting from a clear strategic direction and
We look forward to next year’s edition of the show, which will take place at Makuhari Messe, Japan, from Wednesday 21st February to Friday 23rd February 2018.
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