With only a few days to go before Prolight & Sound Guangzhou kicks off, we speak with the show’s organising committee, including Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, on what we can expect from the 2018 edition.
LightSoundJournal: Prolight and Sound 2018 in Frankfurt saw a number of new and exciting changes for the show, including a new are dedicated to immersive technologies. Will we see any of these changes propagate across to the Guangzhou edition, or will you be listening more closely to specific feedback from last year’s event?
PLSG: We cling to system integration as this is how we differentiate ourselves from other China shows in terms of internationality. Earlier this year, the 2018 Integration Business Outlook study by Commercial Integrator and NSCA revealed that the majority of vertical markets in pro AV points upward. Over two-thirds of surveyed integrators expressed that revenue from their corporate market business rose in 2017.Our buyers and audience actually shared the same expectation towards integrated solutions from us.
Embodying the show spirit of our Frankfurt mother show, we also cater Asian-specific market needs. As we introduced Dante’s audio networking training course last year, we were astonished by the captivating responses from our audience, thus we feel there’s a need to develop specialised content for them. In terms of zoning, we have zones showcasing communications & conference, as well as karaoke & home theatre products in particular. These are unique elements in our show that are well received by our Asian visitors.
LightSoundJournal: There seems to be an increased focus on increasing the international appeal of the Shanghai and Guangzhou shows. What are you doing as organisers to attract a larger amount of international and highly recognised brands?
PLSG: We see Guangzhou and Shanghai show as gateways to China and Asian market. Large-scale music festivals in China have been growing fast these years, thus they induce greater demand on world-class entertainment tech and devices. We want these recognised brands to be the source. Promotion-wise, we do roadshows over the globe.
There are delicate differences in the positioning of our two shows as they entice different audience. It is interesting to learn that Prolight + Sound Shanghai is more appealing to end-users, in return our exhibitors are more willing to exhibit their new, advanced and industry-specific products; whereas our Guangzhou counterpart, thanks to the region which is a mega-manufacturing hub itself in China, is much closer to OEM and buyers who are seeking wide sourcing options. This allows the international brands to showcase their products in line with their business goals and schedules.
LightSoundJournal: Looking at statistics from last year’s show, how are you hoping to improve on these numbers, and do you see growth as something that should increase exponentially, or do you believe there is a point where it will “peak” for these events?
PLSG: Our diversified product portfolio is achieved via strategic zoning and partnerships with global associations, in addition to our concurrent arrangement with Guangzhou International Radio, Film & Television Exhibition and 4K Television Technology Exhibition. Our collaboration with our another signature brand Music China has always been one of our milestones in achieving synergy.
Speaking of communications & conference, karaoke & home theatres – these two are our highlighted zones as we define broadcasting as one of our key theme this year, extending our reach to vertical markets (from entertainment to architecture, engineering and live event technologies) while strengthening the development of these product categories. We are always keeping an eye on upcoming market trends.
The number of audience would be a significant index but it’s not the only one.
LightSoundJournal: How much do you see the Guangzhou edition of PL&S as being a driving force behind the development of the use of technology within the Asian market? Do you believe that the show’s exhibitors simply reflect the increase in technology available, or rather that the show has a direct influence in the increase of technology and knowledge available in the Asian markets?
PLSG: It would be very ambitious to say that but we do put in a lot of effort in producing a strong fringe programme affiliated to the show. We reflect market needs with solutions. For an example, Dante is running their first advanced Level 3 course in China.
System integration is a big hit in China and it’s easier to come up with solutions in our Guangzhou. For commercial clients, our Communication and Conference hall is there to provide orchestrated solutions while our Theatre K. Pub, as well as Media Systems and Solutions can entertain our residential project owners.
Educating our audience in the Asian market is a concerted effort with our exhibitors, zones and training programmes. Gladly, our work is echoed by our supportive exhibitors – the establishment of the two new zones this year deriving from our brands in Audio Brand Name Hall is a good proof. As the international brand names come forward in establishing their brands, our small to medium scale exhibitors are also uplifted in growing their businesses.