With less than 48 hours to go until Prolight & Sound Shanghai 2016 opens its doors, ZioGiorgio spoke with Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager for Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, about the show. We speak with Ms Cheung about the past, present and future of Prolight & Sound Shanghai, as it prepares to open for its 14th edition since its beginnings back in 2003.
ZioGiorgio: Please tell us a little about the history of Prolight & Sound Shanghai?
Ms Judy Cheung: In 2003, Messe Frankfurt and INTEX Shanghai announced their collaboration on Prolight + Sound Shanghai, a new international exhibition in China for the professional audio, lighting and entertainment industry. The show made its debut at the Shanghaimart on 15 – 18 October 2003 as the third member to the Prolight + Sound family. The fair was also held parallel to Music China, the International Exhibition for Musical Instruments which debuted a year earlier in October 2002.
Prolight + Sound Shanghai was established in response to the rapid economic growth and commercial development in the pro audio and lighting sector in Asia, especially China. As many companies wanted to boost their international sales at that time, Messe Frankfurt wanted to help them break into the world’s biggest growth market by organising a pro audio and lighting exhibition right at China’s commercial heart in Shanghai. This contributed to the birth of Prolight + Sound Shanghai, a show that was positioned as a professional marketing platform for manufacturers of sound production, broadcasting and recording equipment, lighting, laser technology and special effects for the entertainment industry, stage, studio and event technology, and pro-audio and lighting-related computer hardware and software.
The first edition of Prolight + Sound got off to a good start as exhibitors and visitors expressed their optimism to expand their business in China through the fair. Ever since, the show has been making impressive strides to become a premium platform in Asia for the entertainment and equipment industry for cutting-edge technologies and products. The show will be welcoming its 14th edition this year.
ZioGiorgio: What would you say are the main differences between Prolight & Sound Shanghai and Prolight + Sound Guangzhou?
Ms Judy Cheung: Apart from Prolight + Sound Shanghai, there are four more fairs in the Prolight + Sound international brand which carry the same objectives – to bring the pro audio and lighting industry together on a global level and provide international trade visitors with an unmatched range of products and knowledge. However, since we are dealing with different markets in respective locations, the target markets and positioning of events also differ greatly.
The show in Shanghai stresses more on being an important source of information for the Asian industry. It brings forward new technologies and market intelligence to a specialist public and lets them experience product innovations in the field of light and sound. The one in Guangzhou on the other hand, emphasises the convenience of sourcing due to the proximity of the fair to the manufacturing bases that form an important industrial region for the sector in China. As you can see, the two Prolight + Sound shows in China provide a comprehensive coverage of the Asian markets, offering visitors a complete and transparent overview of the current range of products and services available, as well as the developments within the pro audio and lighting sector. We are optimistic that the momentum of the brand is still growing, and in the long term, we can envisage expanding our portfolio of events to more regions and making the best of the potential in each individual market.
ZioGiorgio: What can we expect that’s new this year in comparison to previous shows?
Ms Judy Cheung: Prolight + Sound Shanghai has been running for 13 years and has always been pioneering the industry by leading technological developments and linking industrial clusters in Asia’s pro audio and lighting industry. This year is no exception as new changes have been implemented with regards to previous feedback and the evolving demands in these sectors.
With the change in concept and location, this year’s Prolight + Sound Shanghai will be relocated to bigger halls N1, N2 and N3 of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, and a brand new Recording and Production Zone will also be formed in response to the surging demand in relevant products in the market. This area will showcase products including output equipment, recording and monitoring equipment, audio processing equipment and external and functional equipment.
A strong line-up of key industry players have committed to this new product zone this year, which include Ableton, Adam, AKG, Apogee, Avid, Audio-technica, BBL, Behringer, Beyerdynamic, Canare, Cymatic audio, dbx, Digitech, DPA, Eventide, Focal, Focusrite, Gibson, Heritage audio, Iso acoustics, JBL, JD Sound, KRK, Milab, Motu, Native Instruments, Neutrik, Novation, PMC, Point Source, Radial, RME, Rupert Neve, Rycote, sE, Sennheiser, Soundcraft, Studio Project, Superlux, Takstar, Tascam, t.c.electronic, Tree audio, Tubetech and Universal Audio. They will feature the latest output equipment, recording & monitoring equipment, audio processing equipment and external & functional equipment.
To complement the zone, a variety of seminars, live demonstrations and a sound studio will also take place concurrently to deliver a well-rounded business platform for the burgeoning recording market segment. Some of the highlights are:
Sound @ PLSS Studio
26 – 29 October 2016
Location: Hall N1, Booth N1B82, C84
Electronic music in China is gaining momentum. To meet this growing demand, the show offers participants a chance to create their own mixes and sounds by using the latest recording products and technology from important brands in this product demonstration zone. Highlighted products include Ableton Live 9, Alaya 3D wireless headphones, Lemusic Z-shaped work station, Lewitt studio microphone with flexibilty in changing thepolar pattern, Maschine Jam, MIDIMAN M-Track 2×2, Music King comprehensive recording work station, qdc Gemini mulit-funcation earphones and Waves Nx headphones.
Recording Engineers Committee Inauguration & Recording Technology Forum
26 October 2016
Location: Hall N1, Meeting Zone N1-B88
Industry experts and professors from various institutions provide an overview of studio recording techniques and microphone applications. Topics include the challenges to new recording technology development, stereo and surround sound recording, new generation of audio interfaces and how to select proper microphone.
During the fair, a range of technology-oriented forums and seminars will also be held to equip attendees with the skills and market intelligence necessary for them to navigate the dynamic pro audio and lighting landscape. Continuing from the success in the last edition, some highly-rated programmes such as the Vision X Network production presentation, Recording Technology Forum, VPLT Training Course and Concert Sound Arena will return this year. New events including the Shanghai International Film and Television Technology Forum – Sound (IFTT), PLSS Lab – VR Sound and Sound @ PLSS Studio will also help attendees explore the world of forward-looking technologies and products.
ZioGiorgio: Are these changes a reflection of feedback received from previous Shows?
Ms Judy Cheung: As the organiser of Prolight + Sound Shanghai, Messe Frankfurt strives to maintain close connections with show participants as their opinions are the key to making us grow bigger and stronger. Since last year, many attendees and major brands have reflected on the progressively growing recording market in China and their demands to acquire more skills on recording and sound production. This is exactly why we are adding the Recording and Production Zone, as well as more technology-driven events this year, not only to cater to these increasing demands, but at the same time expand our product spectrum and promote industry development with the aim to strengthen our show’s premium position in the industry.
ZioGiorgio: What are your aims and expectations for the show this year? Are there any particular targets that you would like to hit?
Ms Judy Cheung: We aim not to only grow in numbers, but also in quality and influence in the industry. In the past 13 years, Prolight + Sound Shanghai has earned its reputation as one of Asia’s leading professional audio and lighting show that gathers a wide spectrum of key brands, trade associations and experts. We are growing on the right track and we hope that the show will continue to serve as the leading platform for our industry peers. Our aim can also be reflected through the slogan of this year’s show – “To master it”. Through adding new elements to our all-encompassing platform, we hope to deliver to all attendees a tangible experience to master the technologies of today and the abundant opportunities available in the Asian pro audio and lighting industry.
ZioGiorgio: Do you think that it will be long before the Shanghai and Guangzhou shows gather as much fame in the industry as the Frankfurt edition of the show?
Ms Judy Cheung: As I have mentioned before, each Prolight + Sound show caters to a different audience and has a specific market position, so it’s quite difficult to directly compare the fame each fair is receiving within the industry. Prolight + Sound Guangzhou is positioned as a bridge to the Chinese market; Prolight + Sound Shanghai is a platform to reach the Asian market, while Prolight + Sound Frankfurt stresses on the connection with the global audience. In fact, all three fairs have grown to become prominent trade events in their respective regions and are all exerting a huge influence in the industry. In the future, we will continue to upgrade and strengthen all three fairs, not for them to outstand each other, but rather to consolidate their existing positions as the premium pro audio and lighting platforms in their respective regions.
ZioGiorgio: Where do you see the show being in 5 years’ time?
Ms Judy Cheung: Prolight + Sound Shanghai has shown impressive improvement over the past few years, maintaining a high internationality of visitors and attracting top industry brands to join annually. Last year, the show was attended by 25,455 visitors travelled from 80 countries and regions. The “Shanghai International Brand Exhibition” awarded to the show in 2013 also proves that Prolight + Sound Shanghai has established itself as a leading international trade fair providing exhibitors and visitors with a professional trading platform. In this edition, the show continues to expand in scale and will be welcoming over 500 participating brands and companies. With bigger scale and new features, we are expecting the show to attract more quality buyers and visitors from new sectors.
Due to technological advances, the pro audio and lighting industry is currently benefitting from the growth in laser projection, digital radio technologies and projector technologies. The demand for products and technologies related to recording and production is also rising in the Chinese market. In this, we see sustained potential for the growth of Prolight + Sound Shanghai in the future. The show will continue to reflect the development of the sector and align itself closely to the needs and challenges of the market. Strong backing from the industry, high levels of exhibitor and visitor satisfaction and the elaborately designed events are also positive indicators for further growth of Prolight + Sound Shanghai.
ZioGiorgio would like to thank Ms Judy Cheung for taking the time to speak with us in what must be an incredibly busy build up to the show. We are so looking forward to our trip to Shanghai for this year’s Prolight & Sound, and we hope that you, our readers, will join us there. Stay tuned!
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