There’s just over a week to go until the 17th edition of Prolight + Sound Shanghai takes place at Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). Ahead of the anticipated show, we speak with with Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager for Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, about the show’s past, present and future.
LightSoundJournal: From our latest visit to Prolight + Sound Shanghai, we sensed that there certainly seems to be a move amongst Chinese rental companies towards big name brands, pushed further by an increase in larger events and music festivals taking place in China. Do we see an increase of these brands at this year’s Shanghai show?
Ms Judy Cheung: The Chinese government has been actively supporting cultural and tourism related developments. Mega-events, like the 2022 Winter Olympics and Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, have a direct and positive impact on the entertainment equipment and professional AV industry. Responding to this trend, this year’s Prolight + Sound Shanghai will feature brands and fringe events that serve the industry needs.
Visitors and exhibitors will be able to experience 17 top-notch outdoor line arrays at the Concert Sound Arena (CSA). The Arena will present international brands, including Funktion-One, KV2 Audio, Triple Onda, Turbosound, TW Audio, Verity and Voice Acoustic. Local brands will be represented by Admark, CPL, DMX, HZ, Magnetic, Morin, TK Sound, YME, ZMSAudio and Zsound.
Apart from the CSA demonstrations, Hall N4 will showcase stage machinery and theatre technology products, and LED displays. Brands will include GIS, Linso, Lightlink, Minuit Une, Mode, Omart, Plustruss, Prolyte, Showtex and Yestech.
Big brands such as Audiocenter, Choseal, Harman International, ITC, Kaifat, Ruifeng Intelligence, SAE, Sennheiser, Superlux and Yamaha will also highlight their pro audio products elsewhere at the fairground.
The rising number of large scale events raises the awareness on education and training in stage performance. This year’s fringe programme will respond to this trend with more content and a diverse range of carefully selected subjects, which will leave participants with a clear and updated vision on the latest industry topics and developments.
LightSoundJournal: With this in mind, are you expecting a notable change in the types of visitors attending the show, and the areas of industry from which they originate?
Ms Judy Cheung: The Chinese government is paying more attention to the improvement of the spiritual and cultural life of its citizens. It actively promotes entertainment industries, including live art performances, films, e-sports, entertainment, tourism, art trainings and cultural creations. This encourages the growth of live events, music festivals, exhibitions etc. Therefore, the business of the audio-visual solutions providers and production houses that cover a diverse range of lighting, sound and video technology, is developing more and more.
LightSoundJournal: The show has always had a clearly defined zoning strategy. Are there any new zones we can look forward to at this year’s show, or any that have significantly grown since last year?
Ms Judy Cheung: Demonstrating a full range of recording, audio processing and monitoring equipment, the evolving Recording and Production Zone in Hall N1 will be the core focus of the show this year. More brands will make an even stronger appearance, particularly the software and leading equipment brands, including 797, Ableton, Adam, AKG, Amphion, AMS Neve, Apogee, DPA, Dynaudio, Eventide, Fluid, Focal, Focusrite, IK-Multimedia, ISK, KRK, Moog, Motu, Novation, PMC, RME, Roland, Rupert Neve, Rycote, SE, Solid State Logic, Takstar, Universal Audio and Yamaha. Apart from exhibit-floor conversations with peers and one-on-one equipment demonstrations at exhibiting manufacturer and distributor booths, visitors can expect even more in the show’s designated areas.
Another highlight is the IMSTA Audio Software Zone. This showcase is co-presented by IMSTA (International Music Software Trade Association) to feature leading software manufacturers and developers of DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstation), plug-ins, virtual instruments, apps and technologies with a series of product demonstrations and themed presentations. Representatives from Native Instruments will pass on tips and examples of applications and best practice
LightSoundJournal: What about this year’s fringe programme? What would be your highlights as organisers?
Ms Judy Cheung: This edition of PLSS will offer an enhanced fringe programme to bring participants up to speed on the most current and pressing topics that are driving our market, which is subject to technological innovation. Events will be divided into three thematic categories: ‘Forums and Events’, ‘PLSS Academy’ and ‘Interactive Events’. Courses and workshops will focus on topical issues and ground-breaking concepts, and provide in-depth insight into the world of entertainment technology.
The Forum and Events category will host courses that are must-attend events for those who want to dive into the trends in integration of audio-visual applications, and discuss multimedia art solutions in the culture and tourism industry. Events include:
A3E Summit @ Prolight + Sound Shanghai
This brand-new event is organised by Advanced Audio and Application Exchange (A3E) and will provide a first look at new technologies, information and products, aiming to inform and inspire designers and engineers of audio technologies. Topics will include The Future of Production: New Tools and Techniques for Content Creation, Next-Generation Audio/Visual Experiences for Concert and Festival Production and Advanced Audio on Tour: The Latest Technology for FOH Mixing.
The seminar on the presence of audio, stage art, and creative design in culture and tourism will be more extensive this year, and contribute to the upward trajectory of the entire industry.
PLSS Academy will again bundle a range of in-depth courses on event safety, audio training, Dante networking technology and acoustics technology, with an exciting line-up of speakers:
Event Safety Training (NEW)
Hosted by the Event Safety Alliance, this training will take an in-depth look at the safety measures and mechanics for truss structures, the use of LED alongside its installation and operational safety, German industry standards on entertainment technology, and electrical safety for live performance.
VPLT International Audio Training Course
This course is jointly hosted by the German Entertainment Technology Association (VPLT) and Ming Sheng Audio Visual VOC-Tech School. It will cover theories on spatial sound technology, auditory formation, assessing common signals for PA systems and developing critical listening skills in music mixing.
Dante Certification Training @ Shanghai
Dante X Yamaha Application Workshop
Audinate will provide a designated programme for system designers, engineers and industry players to learn about Dante with in-depth training. Courses include an introduction to Dante Level 1 & 2 training sessions. Yamaha will join hands with Audinate experts to demonstrate on Dante enabled devices.
Interactive Events will include the Concert Sound Arena, PLSS Lab — Yamaha X Dante, Sound Studio @ PLSS, and IMSTA Audio Software Zone mentioned earlier.
LightSoundJournal: Speaking with customers at Prolight + Sound Shanghai last year, many domestic customers felt that Guangzhou was still the most important show in terms of the domestic market. Do you believe this to still be true, or do you think that the gap is narrowing between the shows?
Ms Judy Cheung: I believe this has been asked by media and show attendees many times, and I would like to point out that there is a strategic reason for having both shows in China.
As a city, Guangzhou is a significant region for manufacturing in China, and therefore it is considered to be a key sourcing destination for industries both within China and from overseas. Organising shows in Guangzhou means that visitors are in close proximity to production factories, which always helps in terms of attracting them to attend the show. It’s what has helped the fair become the largest pro lighting and audio trade fair in the country. Our Shanghai show serves as a platform for a broader market at a more accessible location for overseas visitors, which is one of the key differences between the two shows. Still, both shows continue to do well in terms of exhibitor and visitor figures, and we don’t expect that to change any time soon.