As the seventh edition of Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia approaches, we took the opportunity to speak with Sofia Bolshakova, Show Director, to find out about what we can expect from this year’s show, as well as what must-see elements will treat visitors at Russia’s only professional exhibition for light, sound and scenery equipment.
LightSoundJournal: The Prolight+Sound exhibition is already celebrating its 7th edition. Should the visitors expect something new after last year’s event?
Sofia Bolshakova: Besides the common things like exhibitioners spaces and some time changes, it’s obvious that the exhibition can’t stand still. If the project is not being developed, it just dies. The advantage of working in the exhibition business is that you can modify the project from year to year, and learn from your’s and other’s mistakes. It’s supported by permanent communication with market players, as we’re always attentive to their opinions. The exhibition exists for the industry, not vice versa. During the past 7 years we have compiled a database of current and potential visitors. The projects that have started inside the exhibition (such as Theatre Forum) are increasing their audience from year to year. We are trying to diversify the exhibition and add some new things every year. For example, this year we are starting our Prolight + Sound NAMM Forum project. It is a three days intensive training course, covering the a range of professional light, stage, sound and media technologies. This year also sees the fair hosting its first certified training for the Dante protocol. Demonstrations of audio equipment will be extended this year, with extra space in a covered pavilion (Pavilion#3). Besides this, the technical tour that was thoroughly appreciated last year will return, this time for sound engineers, lighting designers and event agencies. A detailed schedule is already available on our website and mobile app.
LightSoundJournal: The Theatre Forum is one of the show’s most desirable events for the professionals. Please tell more about this unique event.
Sofia Bolshakova: The Theatre forum is a really unique concept, this year celebrating its fifth year. Here we see leading items of theatre technology, projection and installation being discussed. Producers and distributors from all around the world are presenting new equipment and solutions for cultural venues. An important renewal for the Theatre Forum is the business talks between theatre representatives and equipment producers/suppliers. And of course, the most valuable part of the Theatre Forum is the guided tour of the exhibition, as well as excursions to production and storage complexes of theatres. The Theatre Forum lecture program for this year is unique. Topics include: Quality standards for stage scenery, studies and event organization technologies; Germany and Europe rigging; scenery production, mobile electronic equipment systems and stage complex standards review” – Hubert Eckart, DTHG’s (Gernan Theatre-technical Unity) CEO. “Public Buildings: Rules of acoustic desighn” Rules list presentation – Science and Building Construction Physics Research Institute of Russian Architecture and Building Science Academy. “Individual approach to projecting, design and installation of acoustic systems for projects with limited budget” – Boris Rozhansky, Asia Music’s CEO. And many more.
LightSoundJournal: Sound, light and stage equipment are the main topics of the exhibition. What else is there for the visitors?
Sofia Bolshakova: A big segment of this year’s exhibition is dedicated to projection equipment and ready-made solutions. Epson, Panasonic, MD Technology, CTC Capital (Barco brand), AV Stumpfl, Intmedia, LPD-Techonolgy and Best Vision Projection Screens will be presenting their equipment. There is also a strong allocation for installations, integrity systems, conference hall equipment, mass notification and security systems: Asia Music, DOKA Center, LTM, Imlight Showtechnic Shure, Intmedia, MixArt, Gala Systems and many more will present their equipment, accessories and also ready-made projects and solutions.
LightSoundJournal: What countries are going to be represented at this year’s Prolight&Sound exhibition?
Sofia Bolshakova: More than 100 companies have confirmed their participation in the exhibition. Geographic reach of the participants has expanded and this year’s event will present producers from countries including Russia, Australia, Germany, Italy, Canada. China, Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, France, Switzerland and Sweden.
LightSoundJournal: It’s also interesting who is present from Russia at the exhibition. Are there any producers taking part for the first time?
Sofia Bolshakova: This year we will see the following brands represented for the first time: Siberian lighting, Shure, Epson, Proton Center, Wave Technologies, Next Hi Fi, ED Systems, Digis. After a long break: Imlight Show Technic, LPD technology, Soundbrass.
LightSoundJournal: Have the new pavilions appeared this year? What will we see there?
Sofia Bolshakova: As we mentioned previously, the exhibition is demonstrating a very active level of growth. The expo space has been enlarged, seeing Prolight + Sound NAMM in the following pavillions for the first time: Pavillion 3 – Loud Hall, Pavillion 4 – Main exposition, Pavillion 4.1 – Main exposition, Organizer’s office and Visitors registration zone, Pavillion 4.2 – conference halls, business programme of the exhibition, Festival Square – demonstration of sound equipment.
LightSoundJournal: Is there any help with accommodation provided for the guests from other cities during the exhibition period?
Sofia Bolshakova: Our partners from Demlink Travel have prepared a special offer for our exhibitors and visitors. Our tourism partner can assist in visa applications, pick the most suitable tickets, and help to organise transfers and cultural programmes in Moscow.
LightSoundJournal: Besdides the Theatre Forum, which big events are expected at the Exhibition?
Sofia Bolshakova: This year sees the premiere of the Prolight + Sound Forum. Each of the 3 days will be dedicated to separate topic: September, 13 – Projection equipment, Education and Business, September, 14 – Audio and Light, September, 15 – Projects and Complex solutions, Mechanics of the stage, rigging. One more of this year’s big events is the Loud Hall in Pavillion 3. In brief, Loud Hall makes it possible for the demonstration of acoustic systems within the closed pavilion. Loud Hall is going to present the leading equipment producers. Participation has already been confirmed by companies such as Show Atelier, LTM, ProAudio and Light Systems, Hive Solo, TDA, OKNO-Audio and Asia Music. The schedule of demonstrations and the description of the devices will be available on our website by the end of August.
LightSoundJournal: Which of these events would you like to recommend to visitors this year?
Sofia Bolshakova: All the events are unique and targeted to different audiences. There’s an event series for sound engineers: technical tours and master-classes from our partners Mixingschool.ru, a great segment of Prolight + Sound Forum «Audio Technologies», and an interesting programme of 2-days international AZE community forums named “The future of the audio technologies”. An eventful programme is prepared for lighting designers as well – technical tour of the exhibition with David Misakyan, as well as a Forum section dedicated to the projection equipment. And of course we’ll have some events that would be interesting and useful for everyone: NAMM University programme – seminars & master-classes series dedicated to the items of business development and industry tendencies overviews.
LightSoundJournal: Are you planning to organise online live broadcasts for those who couldn’t be there?
Sofia Bolshakova: Yes, we are planning to go online for our VK group and we will also broadcast on Instagram. Our Instagram account was created not long ago, so follow us here: https://www.instagram.com/mm_pls_russia/.