The future of the event and entertainment sector has begun! This was the unmistakable signal transmitted by Prolight + Sound 2022 after bathing the halls of Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre in a sea of light, effects, sounds and inspiration from 26. to 29. April. Around 20,000 visitors from 93 countries took part in this tremendous reunion of the event industry, discovered the latest technological trends and gathered valuable insights for successful business within the framework of the #Restart.
After a break of two years, Prolight + Sound succeeded in bringing together companies and professionals from all segments of the industry at an international event. At the same time, the show represented the kick-off of the 2022 Frankfurt trade-fair season.
“By all pulling together, we have achieved something that, at the beginning of the year, many people thought would be impossible: the companies and associations of the event and media technology sector joined forces with us to show once again how much life and positive energy is to be found in this industry. We all can be proud of this result. Prolight + Sound not only launched a vast range of new and impressive technologies onto the market but also generated decisive impulses for ways in which the sector can equip itself to face the challenges of the present and future”, said Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt.
The sector rewarded this willingness to focus on a physical event and personal encounters despite the uncertainties prevailing only a few months ago. “We are delighted we have succeeded with Prolight + Sound in triggering this important restart and that we can once again all come together with no restrictions. Both exhibitors and visitors were hungry for spontaneous meetings. The high quality of the fair is also reflected by the sales figures reported by our members. In other words, the fair is the ideal starting place to recapture the all-important trust in our industry for the future”, reported Linda Residovic, Managing Director of the German Media and Event Technology Association (Verband der Medien- und Veranstaltungstechnik – VPLT).
Moreover, said Timo Feuerbach, Managing Director of the European Association of Event Centres (Europäischer Verband der Veranstaltungs-Centren – EVVC), “Prolight + Sound reopened the national and international trade-fair floor and gave the ‘starting shot’ for the entire event sector. In particular, it was once again possible to debate issues of vital importance for the sector, such as the shortage of personnel and skilled workers, basic and advanced training and sustainability, and to work intensively on plans for the future.”
Roadmap for tomorrow: the sector demonstrates innovativeness and drive
At Prolight + Sound, numerous product launches and future-oriented solutions left no doubt that the companies of the entertainment-technology sector had not been idle during the long period with no events. At many exhibition stands, visitors could see audio-visual presentations with the latest lighting, sound, stage, media and event technology, many of which had been created especially for the fair. Naturally, there were also several curiosities to be found: from belts that vibrate to indicate specific sound frequencies, via mobile sofas, to creative sound tools with the aid of which aubergines and bananas can be used for beat making.
In the exhibition halls of Prolight + Sound, it was also evident that, in times of personnel shortages, fairs are becoming increasingly important for recruitment. This was especially evident at the new Future Hub, which brought together content for a young target group, where many companies reached out to newcomers to the sector, as well as to skilled workers looking for new challenges. The ‘Race for Talents’ was also an important theme in the programme of events, within the framework of which representatives of educational facilities, associations, companies and trade visitors discussed a variety of topics including training campaigns, career scenarios, new learning formats and the attractiveness of the sector for women.
Also prevalent at Prolight + Sound was the commitment to a greener future for the event industry and new products at the show included, for example, technologies distinguished by a particularly high level of energy efficiency, solutions for reducing logistical difficulties and products made of environmentally friendly materials. At the première of the ‘Green Event Day’, a programme of lectures revolving around sustainable events, experts from the sector discussed the impact of the EU Green Deal on the event industry and presented strategies for conserving natural resources.
Global meeting place for professionals
The undiminished high level of internationality and professionality at this year’s Prolight + Sound laid the foundation for the future growth of the event hand-in-hand with the event industry. The visitor structure showed a further increase in the proportion of managers compared to previous fairs. Participants came not only from all over Europe but also from North and South America, Asia and Australia. In this connection, the level of exhibitor satisfaction was also high. Thus, Prolight + Sound left no doubt that globally oriented trade fairs are of great importance, especially in turbulent times.
Despite the significant challenges still facing the event industry, skilled personnel from the sector have a highly positive outlook. According to a poll of visitors, around two thirds said they expected the economic situation in the industry to improve in the future – a positive sign for the next Prolight + Sound, which will be held from 25. to 28. April 2023.