With the undeniable level of growth of China’s pro audio and lighting market, Prolight & Sound Guangzhou has acted as a catalyst for development and an increase in market awareness on the importance of such a growing area of the industry. ZioGiorgio recently had the opportunity of speaking with Prolight & Sound’s Ms Judy Cheung. Cheung is Deputy General Manager for Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, and was able to speak with us about the past, present and future of Prolight & Sound Guangzhou.
ZioGiorgio.com: So, what can we expect that’s new this year in comparison to previous Shows?
Ms Judy Cheung: Prolight + Sound Guangzhou has been running for 14 years and has always been a pioneering show assisting the development of China’s pro audio and lighting industry. While continuing to serve the local industry, the show’s international positioning has been stronger than ever after the strategic 2013 joint venture of Messe Frankfurt and the Guangdong International Science and Technology Exhibition Company (STE). Today, the show is the largest of its kind in China with 1,230 exhibitors presenting more than 1,500 brands from 25 countries and regions in the 2016 edition, spanning over 130,000 sqm of exhibition space in 13 halls in Area A of China Import & Export Fair Complex.
In order to provide new and multiple business opportunities for the industry, we have some first-time exhibiting brands joining this year’s show such as Adam Hall, Alesis, ArphoniA, Bose, clearvoice systems, Digico, GTD, K-array, Kling & Freitag, HK Audio, L-Acoustics, Maquinas Iberica, Next Audio and Shure in addition to the long-term participating brands including ACE, Acme, AD System, ADJ, beyerdynamic, Beta Three, BMB, C-Mark, d&b audiotechnik, EM Acoustic, FBT, Fidek, Harman International, Hi-Ltte, Hivi, Kvant, Laser world, LTS, Nexo, partyhouse, Pioneer, QSC, SAE, SE audiotechnik, Sennheiser, Soundking, Tasso, Taiden, T.D Taichee, TJ Media, Turbosound, Yamaha and Zsound.
For convenience and fluidity, the halls will be categorised into Audio Brand Name Halls, Pro Audio Halls, Lighting Halls, KTV and Enping Microphone Halls. Additionally, specific product zones which are located in Hall 1.2 and 2.1, will gather the latest products for microphones, conference systems and public address systems to bring more variety of lighting and stage products to the industry buyers.
Continuous training and education are important for the growth of the industry. To do that, Prolight + Sound Guangzhou will organise a series of events to keep industry peers up-to-date with the cutting-edge technologies and ever-changing market. One of the highlights is the new PLSG Annual Training Session – Acoustic Master Class hosted by “Audio Engineering”. Industry experts will share their knowledge in the application of acoustic and sound systems in venue and theatre. Another featured event is the Recording Art and Technology Forum. This debut forum will invite reputed pro audio engineers from China to provide insights into advanced technology and application of surround sound recording and other audio technology development.
In addition, visitors can participate in the Vision X Network product presentations to experience innovative products and technology and network with their creators from Audiocenter, Axiom, Bose, Chef Cable, CVS, dB Technologies, EZ Pro, Fidek, GTD, Inspired Audio, iTC, LDH, Night Sun, Phonic, Soundking and Taiden.
ZioGiorgio.com: If there are any changes, are these a reflection of feedback received from previous Shows?
Ms Judy Cheung: We maintain close connections with the show participants as they represent their sectors and we value their opinions. After intensive dialogues, we know that many of them believe having more international brands at the show and organising more industry-related forums with top-grade speakers will certainly raise the show’s quality and benefit the industry’s growth and business. This is why we are adding the aforementioned new features to strengthen the show’s leading position in the pro audio and lighting industry.
ZioGiorgio.com: What are your aims and expectations for the Show this year? Are there any particular targets that you would like to hit, and what do you see as the key differences between the markets in this industry in the East, compared to the West?
Ms Judy Cheung: We aim not just to grow big but strong. The number of exhibitors grew from 1,186 in 2015 to 1,230 in the 2016 edition. We expect to have 70,000 people visiting the show this year. Using “Put your business centre stage” as our slogan, we aim to be the “stage” for successful business among the industry peers. To achieve this, we provide an all-inclusive platform for show attendees to source, network and learn. For example a series of technology-oriented events will be held concurrently with the show, which are led by international industry experts and associations including VPLT, to deliver the latest technology updates. Furthermore, new specific product zones for conference systems, public address, headphones, microphones, pro audio and accessories, as well as the signature Audio Brand Name Halls, Pro audio Halls, Lighting Halls, KTV Hall and Enping Microphone Halls are formed to deliver a more dynamic and broad spectrum exhibition, as well as an effective marketplace for local and international industry professionals. With these new elements, we hope Prolight + Sound Guangzhou can attract more good quality international and domestic buyers and increase the satisfaction level of exhibitors and visitors alike.
The markets in this industry are constantly demanding new innovation and technology no matter in Asia, Europe or America. This is especially true for the massive Chinese market not only as a manufacturing region but also as a user market for the latest technology from all over the world. There is huge room for growth and the market is developing at a good pace.
ZioGiorgio.com: That said, it is certainly a growing market. Do you think that it will be long before the two markets are heading in the same direction, or will the differences always be apparent?
Ms Judy Cheung: As mentioned, the market and the industry in China are developing fast and the global industry in general is driven by technology. No doubt the two markets are developing in the same direction and the technology level in China will reach the international standard in the near future.
ZioGiorgio.com: Where do you see the Show in 5 years?
Ms Judy Cheung: Prolight + Sound Guangzhou has shown impressive development over the past few years. Since Messe Frankfurt established a strategic partnership with STE in 2013, the show has become an enhanced marketing platform with more international business opportunities. One good example is the launching of the Audio Brand Name Hall in the 2014 show and this area increased to four halls in 2016.
The partnership receives strong support from the industry and the show continues to expand in scale up to 130,000 sqm of exhibition space, occupying 13 halls for the 2016 show.
Economic growth in China has led to a boom in the events market and the demand for professional lighting and sound technology has risen significantly. Because of that, we have added a number of new elements in the show emphasising the development trends of technology such as the PLSG Annual Training Session and the Vision X Network. On top of that, there is an ever-increasing need for conferences and business events for companies in the region. In this, we see considerable and sustained potential for the future. And the background of outstanding levels of satisfaction amongst both exhibitors and visitors alike augurs well for the continued growth of Prolight + Sound Guangzhou.