Prolight & Sound 2017 – Show Impressions

So, Prolight & Sound 2017 Frankfurt has now closed its doors, and our large delegation has returned home from this edition with heaps of enthusiasm and plenty to report.
The Frankfurt fair has always been an opportunity to take stock, so this year especially, we’d like to take a few minutes in order to share with you the great successes our new international network, Light Sound Journal.

We don’t like to proclaim loud, self-serving speeches about our achievements, but 2017 has been a busy year for us, the so-called “breakthrough” year. We began with the re-organisation of our team, enriched both in numbers and in quality, before setting about introducing many new services to the market. These are now laid out, more clearly than ever, in our new MediaKits (link), offering a series of opportunities for companies to promote and gain visibility, in ways that are more relevant than ever to our industry.

But most importantly, and as a result of some brave decisions, we made an epochal change, transforming ZioGiorgio Network into the new and renovated LightSoundJournal. Already well established online in six languages, this change reinforces a publishing project already unique in the industry, and one that can now rely on new forces and new skills. LightSoundJournal has therefore replaced the ZioGiorgio brand internationally, with the exception of, which will retain the name for the “historic” Italian version.

We would also like to underline our ongoing commitment, in terms of both time and financial investment, to visiting many of the most important fairs in the world (PLASA, LDI Las Vegas, JTSE Paris, ISE Amsterdam, NAMM, Prolight & Sound Shanghai, Prolight & Sound Guangzhou…) in order to provide broad and direct information, that is truly reflective of the worldwide professional entertainment sector.

And of course, thanks to all of you who read us with passion and perseverance. We hope that from today you will also enjoy the new – and rich in content – LSJ App, downloadable for free on App Store and Google Play (just look for Light Sound Journal).

Let’s get back to the Frankfurt fair, one that after some major changes introduced last year in terms of logistics and organisation, was certainly eagerly awaited.

We noticed a continued theme from last year, with a more relaxed, efficient atmosphere that is more conducive to b2b interactions. This is party because of the lack of public attendance from those visitors to Musikmesse, which no longer overlaps the entire show. However, the feedback from the show does not come without some clear signals to be assessed and addressed by the organisation, one that is always very careful in listening to the public and exhibitors.

The general feeling seems to be that Prolight & Sound, whilst not seemingly breaking records (we have no official numbers at this time, but from judging the hall floors it would certainly seem this way), remains a reference event for most of the industry. However, for many it is not considered to be the “indispensable” event on the calendar that it was up until a few years ago.

In this sense, it’s impossible not to note the importance of the absence of large audio companies such as Shure, Sennheiser, Meyer Sound, Music Group (with Midas, Lab.gruppen, Klark Teknik, Behringer…) who, however you view them, have huge influence in the industry.

Contrastingly, in general, the world of lighting gathered in Halls 3.0 and 4.0, with attendees including almost all of the biggest companies in the industry, with a more apparent level of “enthusiasm” than that of the halls dedicated to pro audio. As it is not part of our business, we obviously could not comment so much on Musikmesse, however word on the ground suggest that the situation here is certainly far from rosy.

Going beyond this initial assessment, we can only assume that, at least in our view, Prolight & Sound suffers from a syndrome all too common to this type of “imposing” event, where customers expect more and more from the stands, leading to more expense and complication when compared to formula of the “traditional” exhibition. All this, for a result that the audience has often already seen in the past, and therefore find less “exciting.”

However, if we look on the other hand, and remember that for many in the industry the Frankfurt event still remains a point of reference, this is thanks to an impeccable level of organisation and a strong international appeal to both the public and exhibitors.

It has often been said and repeated that exhibitions are important to meet people, to network and to make alliances. For many, it is equally important for companies to attend with an impressive and clearly thought-out stand, which contributes to enriching the brand perception of that company, and portraying the “good health” of the business.

from the left.: Stephan Kurzawski, Michael Biwer, Wolfgang Lücke, Christopher Sparkes, Bin Thomas Source – © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

In an age where communication runs through more and more diversified channels, often not always well-defined, the show provides an important physical component for the companies present. However, one could argue that this outcome could not justify such an onerous investment in terms of the cost and personnel involved in creating an elaborate and complicated stand. Less expensive, and above all product focussed stands, seem to collect more success, whilst at the same time creating an environment more condusive to the companies that are increasingly interested in building specific and selected relations, rather than attracting the masses.

In the coming days our editors will release their technology specific reports from Prolight & Sound 2017. Stay tuned!

Aldo Chiappini

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