Michael Biwer Interview – Prolight + Sound 2015

Ready, steady, go! With only two weeks to go to Prolight + Sound 2015, to take place at Messe Frankfurt, Germany, from 15 – 18 April 2015, ZioGiorgio asked Michael Biwer, Director at Prolight + Sound for some anticipations.

Michael Biwer

Michael Biwer, Director at Prolight + Sound

ZioGiorgio.com: last year, when we met for an interview on the 3rd day of the show, it was already clear that it was going to be another big success. What were the final figures of the 2014 edition in terms of exhibitors and visitors? Besides figures, what is your personal résumé of Prolight + Sound 2014?

Michael Biwer: more than 42,000 visitors made their way to Frankfurt to see the products and services presented by 898 exhibitors at Prolight + Sound 2014. Thus, the fair was once again able to underscore its outstanding importance for the sector. Personally, I was particularly pleased with the high level of satisfaction: 84 percent of exhibitors and no less than 98 percent of visitors said they were satisfied to extremely satisfied with the results of their participation in the fair. And, of course, I was delighted with the positive impulses generated by the event for the 2014 business year.

ZioGiorgio.com: how about the number of exhibitor registrations you have already received for the upcoming show?

Michael Biwer: this year, once again, around 900 manufacturers and service providers from the sector will make presentations in Frankfurt. We are very pleased about both the number of exhibitors and the on-going high level of internationality, with companies from over 40 countries having already signed up for the fair.

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ZioGiorgio.com: what is the idea behind the slogan for Prolight + Sound 2015, “Hands on Energy”?

Michael Biwer: our claim, ‘Hands on Energy’, reflects a fundamental advantage of a fair as an information platform because it gives visitors the opportunity to see products being demonstrated under fairly realistic conditions and, in most cases, to literally hold them in their hands. In other words, a fair enables visitors to obtain an optimum overview of the latest trends and innovations. In any case, the ‘hands on …’ mentality is prevalent in this sector because the people, who work there, should not only be creative pioneers but also practical specialists. And this is also reflected by the practice-oriented seminars at Prolight + Sound whereby ‘Energy’ represents the link between the individual segments of the event-technology industry – and, at the same time, evokes the enthusiasm to be felt at spectacular event productions.

ZioGiorgio.com: will the exhibition halls allocation remain the same as in 2014?

Michael Biwer: we have not made any major changes to the hall layout. Audio and PA systems are in Hall 8.0. Exhibitors from the lighting, stage, media, film and camera technology make their presentations in Hall 9.0. Companies from the Far East are located in Hall 9.1. They will have on show a broad spectrum of products ranging from lighting and PA systems, via stage equipment and trusses, to network systems. In Hall 11.0, visitors can see new products and innovations from the fields of laser and effects, show and stage technology, and design and installation. This year, the Eventplaza conference will be held entirely in the Portalhaus building. Galleria 0 and Galleria 1 are the presentation areas for associations and publishers.

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ZioGiorgio.com: what do you expect from the merger of Prolight + Sound and Showtech?

Michael Biwer: numerous companies from the theatre and stage technology sectors will be exhibiting at the upcoming Prolight + Sound. They include Alfa System sas, American Dancewear, BühnenbauSchnakenberg, Bütec, ChainMasterBühnentechnik, ChemtrolDivisiónTeatro, Enforcer Pülz, ETC, Gerriets, Jelmez-art and MaquinasIberica. Thus, we have been able to expand the range of products and segments covered. To offer trade visitors from this field an optimum overview, exhibitors relevant to the theatre are listed in a special brochure – the ‘Stagery Quickfinder’ – and marked with a special ‘Stagery’ label in the online exhibitor search engine. In this connection, ‘Stagery’ not only stands for the new emphasis on theatre and film but also reflects the alliance with the ‘Showtech’ fair, which moves from Berlin to become part of Prolight + Sound in 2015. In addition to the extended range of products, the ‘Stagery’ theme also includes a wide-ranging programme of information for the sector: the ‘Theatre and Film Colloquium’ offers practical information about technology, planning and productions. This year’s speakers include world-famous and influential theatre and opera director Robert Wilson who will discuss the significance of event technology for the theatre business. ‘Stagery’ also includes a VIP programme for theatre planners with an exclusive agenda on Thursday, 16 April 2015. You will find further information about ‘Stagery’ at www.prolight-sound.com/stagery

ZioGiorgio.com: could you please tell us more about the Prolight + Sound Conference and the Eventplaza Conference and exhibition?

Michael Biwer:
 over 60 lectures during the fair represent a valuable source of expert knowledge for the entire event-technology sector. Besides the ‘Theatre and Film Colloquium’ mentioned, the ‘Prolight + Sound Conference’ spotlights three other thematic blocks. At ‘Media Systems’, the focus is on the expanding markets for systems integration and AV media technology. Organised by the Association of German Sound Engineers (VerbandDeutscherTonmeister – VDT), the ‘VDT Academy’ is a comprehensive information event for the audio sector. The fourth thematic block, the ‘Prolight + Sound Forum’, presents the latest developments and potential applications for event technology. But that’s not all. There is also another information event at the fair: the ‘Eventplaza Conference’, which offers an interesting programme of lectures revolving around the subject of event management. As in previous years, the International Event Safety Conference (I-ESC) is an important part of this.

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In addition to programme improvements, the conference has a new Networking Lounge and a presentation area for companies belonging to the European Association of Event Centres (EuropäischerVerband der Veranstaltungs-Centren – EVVC). Naturally, this year’s Prolight + Sound will also showcase a host of new products of particular interest to the event-management sector. They, too, are listed clearly in a special brochure – the Eventplaza Quickfinder – and marked accordingly in the exhibitor search engine.

Info: www.prolight-sound.com
Info: www.messefrankfurt.com

Guido Block
ZioGiorgio Network

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