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Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound News


At Musikmesse (c) Jochen Günther

Apr 04, 2016

Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound set to open their doors with a new
concept and over 2,000 exhibitors. Additional business services and
facilities, greater emotionality and new offers for young people.


Musikmesse (7 to 10 April) and Prolight + Sound (5 to 8 April) are set to turn the city into the pivotal point for the entire music and event sector – and into a magnet for tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. A total of 2,043 exhibitors from 60 countries have signed up to present their latest products and innovations. This year, the fairs boast a new concept that takes account of the individual requirements of the segments represented and is oriented towards current and future challenges and social trends. Additionally, the first Musikmesse Festival is being held with over 50 concerts throughout Frankfurt.

“We continue to rely on the synergistic effects of our strong trade-fair duo, Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound. Nevertheless, the markets and market participants are calling for a different rhythm in this age of digitalisation. And we are taking account of this time change by relaunching Musikmesse. Despite the fact that some companies want to see the new concept in operation before committing themselves, we are delighted to welcome more exhibitors than expected at this stage”, says Detlef Braun, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt GmbH and adds, “Prolight + Sound is expanding continuously with the sector. To take account of this positive development, we will provide more room for further expansion. Within the dynamic process of strategically realigning both fairs, we can thus draw a positive interim conclusion.” Thanks to the new concept, both events can continue expanding their individual strengths – at the same time as maintaining their valuable synergistic effects through the two overlapping days on Thursday and Friday.

With 940 exhibitors on 85,000 square metres of exhibition space (gross) (2015: 920 exhibitors ) the area covered by Prolight + Sound has increased by 16 percent compared to 2015. “A trade fair of this size and internationality can only be found in Frankfurt”, says Helge Leinemann, Deputy Chairman of the Professional Lighting & Sound Association of Germany (Verband für Licht-, Ton- und Veranstaltungstechnik - VPLT). “We are very pleased that Prolight + Sound has developed into the foremost meeting place for the sector – to have all important companies, decision makers and associations in Germany is a huge advantage for our members and for our communication policy worldwide.”

At Musikmesse, 1,103 exhibitors are making presentations on 82,000 square metres of exhibition space (gross) (2015: 1,310 exhibitors, 82,100 square metres (gross)1). The degree of internationality on the exhibitor sides of the two fairs is high: 67 percent at Musikmesse and 62 percent at Prolight + Sound – a clear indication of the relevance of both events for the market.

Musikmesse paves the way for the future

After years of ups and downs for the musical-instrument trade, Germans are once again spending more money on making music. While conventional retailers continue to struggle to hold their market shares, suppliers able to combine online and offline sales channels intelligently are reaping the benefit. With the new concept, Musikmesse is focusing more on the challenges facing the trade in this age of increasing digitalisation. Daniel Knöll, General Manager of the Society Of Music Merchants (SOMM), says, “Numerous players have given much thought to the reorientation of Musikmesse. The commitment of SOMM at Musikmesse shows how important this showcase in Frankfurt is for us. Thus, SOMM has assumed responsibility for the content of many areas, e.g., the ‘edutainment’ field and the Academy, which are part of the reorientation.”

Together with the umbrella organisation of the musical instrument and music equipment sector, SOMM, Musikmesse is launching the new Business Academy, at which experts from the industry will speak about subjects such as web shop optimisation, customer retention through social media and legal requirements in the online trade. Trade visitors will be able to see vivid examples of how to present musical instruments effectively at the Future Shop exhibition. Additionally, retailers and proprietors will have the chance to discover how to make shopping a positive experience for their customers while small shop keepers can benefit from the advantages offered by e-commerce. For the first time, Musikmesse will have a special exhibition hall reserved for trade visitors: the Business meets Business Hall (11.1) provides the room essential for undisturbed professional discussions.

More emotions, more enthusiasm for music

Against the background of changing customer behaviour and globalisation in the trade, music aficionados are being given an active role to play in the new Musikmesse concept. For the first time, the fair is open on all four days not only for music professionals but also for private visitors. Thus, companies have the chance to reach all relevant target groups and, with the new thematic worlds, event areas and renowned musicians, Musikmesse will exercise an even greater power of attraction on music lovers. The Drum Camp offers exclusive performances by world-famous drummers, such as Mike Terrana, Karl Brazil and Mikkey Dee on their original drum sets, as well as advice for beginners and experts. At the Club Forum, top producers will explain how a song can be made into a hit using the right technical facilities. Visitors to the Classic & Future Forum can enjoy a fascinating programme of events revolving around classical music. Moreover, the Musikmesse Street Food Session on the outdoor exhibition area offers culinary reflections on musical themes. Prominent musicians are involved in preparing the programme or will be appearing on the Musikmesse stages. They include electro-musician Schiller, pop rocker Jupiter Jones, Ärzte bassist Rod Gonzalez, current Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X and singer-songwriter Konstantin Wecker, who will be presented with the ‘Pianist of the Year’ Award during the fair.

Focus on musical beginners

Musikmesse is also increasing its commitment to helping young musicians. Over the years, the established Music4Kidz participatory exhibition has given over 100,000 children insights into the pleasure of making music. This year, it offers a new range of extraordinary musical instruments, interactive sound sculptures and creative sound experiments. Also new: the European Final of the world’s biggest band contest, Emergenza, will be held for the first time at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre. At SchoolJam, young talents compete for the title of ‘Germany’s best school band’. Additionally, there will be a special stage for ambitious newcomer bands on the outdoor exhibition area.

Musikmesse Festival: making the city a stage

After the fair closes its doors for the day, the music will continue in Frankfurt. The new Musikmesse Festival takes the various genres to venues throughout the city with over 50 concerts in around 30 clubs, bars and concert halls. The headliners include jazz legend Al Jarreau with the hr-Bigband, pop-poet Laith Al-Deen, the BigCityBeats Birthday with star DJs Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Munich’s Eisbrecher rock band and the internationally successful electro-duo Tube & Berger. There will also be creative musical activities in public areas and an event unparalleled in Germany: a platform concert by Von Brücken at the city’s ‘Taunusanlage’ station.

New sequence of days, new hours of opening

Messe Frankfurt has taken account of the individual needs of the musical instrument and event technology sectors with an optimised sequence of days when the fairs open. In particular, small retailers frequently said they would like to visit Musikmesse outside their normal opening times, i.e., not have to shut their shops for the day. Therefore, Musikmesse 2016 will run from Thursday to Sunday. Private visitors also profit from the opportunity to visit the event throughout the weekend. The situation at Prolight + Sound is different with event professionals frequently being tied up at events on the weekend. Hence, Prolight + Sound has been shifted to four working days, Tuesday to Friday. Additionally, the two fairs have swapped their exhibition halls. From now on, Musikmesse will be held in the western section of Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre, Prolight + Sound in the eastern section.

Prolight + Sound: room for a booming market to expand

The event and AV media technology sector has been booming for many years. Against the background of new driving forces for growth and a good economic setting, studies predict that sales will continue to grow over the coming years. Thanks to growth in the industry, Prolight + Sound has also gone from record to record. Now, the move to the eastern section of the Exhibition Centre provides the space needed for further expansion of the spectrum of segments and themes covered. Most recently, the field of theatre and stage technology was successfully integrated into the product portfolio of the fair.

With the new sequence of days, Prolight + Sound can enlarge its extensive professional-development programme to four full days and integrate new seminar formats. An important cornerstone is the Future Talents Day on the new Tuesday of the fair, 5 April, which will be devoted exclusively to young people in the event industry. Special lectures, workshops and matchmaking services are set to make Prolight + Sound an even more powerful magnet for students, pupils and trainees. As a networking platform, the fair is the optimum venue for companies to reach tomorrow’s talents – after all, a booming sector needs first-class personnel.

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