Concluding on 24 August, Prolight + Sound Guangzhou 2020 was the first major industry trade fair of its kind to return in China following the COVID-19 outbreak, providing an effective and high quality business platform for professionals in the entertainment, media and AV industry to reconnect, rebuild and network.
Under the motto of “Beyond lighting and sound”, the 2020 edition offered more distinguished product categories that engaged users with digital experiences. Technological convergence was the main focus of the fair, with the newest entertainment, AV equipment and related integration opportunities attracting the attention of potential buyers.
PLSG 2020 gathered a total of 41,556 visitors and 677 exhibitors for its 18th edition at the China Import and Export Fair Complex, that is to consider a great success keeping in mind the special period the world is living in. But leaving aside the numbers we were interested to know something more about the experience of this year’s edition.
So, who better than Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd to ask some in-depth questions?
LightSoundJournal: This was for sure a very special edition, thinking of the particular moment the world is living in. How was it on an emotional level?
Ms Judy Cheung: It has been really hard and full of challenges! It was with great pleasure that Prolight + Sound Guangzhou (PLSG) finally held its 2020 edition, which was thanks not only to the persistent efforts of the PLSG team, but also the entire spectrum of industry players and associations pulling together.
PLSG strives to serve as the global marketplace for the entertainment and pro AV industries, no matter the circumstances. This year we worked on every aspect of visitor promotion to retain domestic visitors. In addition, to accommodate those who were unable to attend due to travel restrictions, we worked very hard to find new ways for exhibitors to promote their products, including the use of online channels.We received a lot of positive feedback that our online platforms eased the match-making process and helped to facilitate interactions between buyers and exhibitors.
Although we have launched some well-received online services to complement the fairs, the interaction among industry peers when sampling the products is the most important element in an entertainment trade show. The response of show participants certainly reflects this, with many visitors pleased to be able to meet up with fellow industry professionals once again.
This positive response validated our decision to hold a physical fair this year. When China began to recover earlier in the year, we worked with partners, fairground management, and local health agencies to ensure that we took every possible precaution and strictly followed the rules for social distancing, hygiene, and facility cleaning. It was an exciting and encouraging moment for Prolight + Sound Guangzhou: the first major entertainment industry trade show to return in China, providing an effective and high quality business platform for professionals in the entertainment, media and AV industry to reconnect, rebuild and network.
LightSoundJournal: Could you give a statement about the general situation of the market in relation to the past years?
Ms Judy Cheung: Digitalisation and technological convergence have been the hottest topics over recent years in entertainment and pro AV industries, and these topics will definitely be speeding up in the future. During the pandemic, the high demand of online conferencing, education, and home KTV, has underlined the importance that intelligent communication systems and platforms are playing – both in terms of business and leisure. This created new opportunities for our exhibitors. Many of them brought new online related products to the fair such as home karaoke systems and microphone systems for online conferencing etc.
LightSoundJournal: Will the planning and organisation of the next editions undergo some evolution? Not only thinking of the Covid issue, but generally: Without any doubt, the world has changed…
Ms Judy Cheung: In recent years the entire industry has been talking about sound, lighting and technology taking quantum leaps forward. We have tried to provide a window into these advancements, most notably in the fields of networking and systems integration in event technology, by expanding our Communication and Conferencing hall and our Media Systems and Solutions hall. PLSG provides a platform for exhibitors to learn about the market trends and to uplift the technological level of their products to stay competitive.
PLSG is at its strongest in the entertainment sector, with pro audio and lighting equipment and related technologies. In the future, in addition to entertainment, we will also encompass more vertical market sectors, including: building, commercial, cultural and tourism, and education, with the aim of facilitating industry convergence and helping traditional entertainment businesses discover opportunities from new digital trends in these markets. We will expand our product offerings across these five main categories, ranging from pro audio, pro lighting, projection and stage technology, to KTV and home theatre entertainment, communication and conferencing, and media systems and solutions.
A good example of this is the ‘tech meets culture’ concept, where PLSG will demonstrate how technology is increasingly intersecting with culture, specifically in the fields of digital media and traditional pro audio and lighting equipment. Immersive experiences will be showcased through expanded thematic halls and fringe events.
Generally speaking, the entertainment and pro AV industries are focusing on AV integration and user experience. As the industries change, so will PLSG. The show has leaned more towards technological convergence and system integration, striving to become an even more comprehensive pro AV platform since our 2018 edition.
LightSoundJournal: What was your experience with the unifying of Shanghai & Guangzhou shows. Did it work well? Will you repeat it next year (even regardless the Covid-19 issue)?
Ms Judy Cheung: As we always say, Prolight + Sound Guangzhou and Prolight +Sound Shanghai (PLSS) provide year-round business opportunities in China. From the organiser’s point of view, both shows are more important than ever for businesses aiming to reconnect and re-establish themselves within the market.
It’s important for us to stay abreast of market changes and refine the product offerings of our platforms accordingly. We foresee quite a lot of uncertainties even after this challenging period. It is therefore important to remain flexible and continue discussions with our exhibitors and stakeholders to ensure we provide them with the most effective platforms.
LightSoundJournal: Is it possible to give us some highlights of innovative products from the show?
Ms Judy Cheung: “Protrix” brand was unveiled at PLSG20 for the first time, targeting industry professionals such as wholesalers and engineering companies who are in the karaoke business. Taking into account the large number of celebrity live streams, and the popularity of home karaoke and video recording, the personalised and cost effective products are perfectly adapted to the current market. As an international platform, PLSG enables new users to understand the brand and build new partnerships.
In the media systems, communication and conference halls, many exhibitors brought in new products that are closely related to digitalisation:
“Seeknature” brought in ST60 mixer sound card which is designed for desktop usage with easy operation. It provides 21 kinds of application effects and 12 kinds of scene sound effects, dedicated control panel with massive customised downloading of application and scene sound effects to meet the personalised sound requirement during live streaming.
“Bosch” also launched its new product, MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine, which is a 24 x 24 crosspoint performance audio matrix offering both routing and mixing functionalities. MXE5 also serves as communications hub for all IP-based peripherals and providing comprehensive supervision of all system-wide commands and serves as a communications hub for all IP-based peripherals and provides comprehensive supervision of all system-wide commands and is designed for consultants, production companies, specifiers and system integrators who demand the highest-quality BGM and uncompromising live performance sound. Built on comprehensive software, The MXE5 integrates completely with Dynacord’s SONICUE sound system software, one of the most powerful software interfaces in the industry, offering comprehensive control and easy, intuitive operation.
“Summicinfo” brought in their “distributed agent collaboration system”. The distributed node constructs a comprehensive interactive information management solution integrating the functions of audio and video integrated management, matrix switching system, splicing fusion system, environmental control system, KVM management and big data application, so as to realise the maximum value of massive data and information management, based on the distributed interconnection.
In the KTV hall, “Guangzhou City Cool Electronic Co Ltd” foresees the future development of the industry will tilt to online, where digitalisation will gradually develop into the new normal, and products will also transit to traditional + online integration. The company launched new lighting, audio and video products used in KTV and hotels, such as “cloud” karaoke room, which combined traditional karaoke with entertainment, interactive games and DJ, and hopes to use the platform of PLSG to release these new products, achieve the greatest effect of publicity and to expand business opportunities.