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Musikmesse/Prolight + Sound Frankfurt increases its lead

Apr 05, 2012

Prolight + Sound 2012 in Frankfurt am Main closed its doors after an
excellent run from 21 to 24 March 2012. During the four days of the
fair, 876 exhibitors from 41 countries...

Prolight + Sound 2012 in Frankfurt am Main closed its doors after an excellent run from 21 to 24 March 2012. During the four days of the fair, 876 exhibitors from 41 countries – equal to last year’s record – made presentations to visitors from all over the world. Moreover, Prolight + Sound welcomed more visitors than ever before: together with the parallel event, the international Musikmesse, 109,841 visitors were counted (2011: 109,002) from 120 countries. Of these visitors 40,894 came primarily to Prolight + Sound to discover the latest products and services for the event, media technology and systems integration sectors. The combination of an extensive range of products and services with numerous supplementary offers, e.g., information events and outdoor areas, makes Prolight + Sound the most international and comprehensive event of its kind for the sector.

“From the point of view of both exhibitors and visitors, Prolight + Sound has once again gained in significance as the world’s most important trade fair for the sector”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “The sector is optimistic and used the fair as a presentation platform with a worldwide impact. This positive outlook and the enthusiasm for new products and the coming business year pervaded all exhibition halls. Thus, Prolight + Sound has further strengthened its position as a platform and source of new impulses for the sector”, added Braun.

With 876 exhibitors from 41 nations, the fair matched last year’s record result. After Germany with 343 exhibitors, the most important exhibitor nations were the People’s Republic of China (77), Great Britain (66), the USA (59), Italy (48), Taiwan (36), The Netherlands (33) and France (32). 84 percent of exhibitors said the economic climate in the sector is satisfactory to good – an excellent value that correlates with the degree of satisfaction expressed by exhibitors with Prolight + Sound.

Overall, the exhibitors gave Prolight + Sound a very good rating. 88 percent of the companies taking part – an increase of three percentage points – were satisfied to extremely satisfied with the fair.

Prolight + Sound registered 40,894 visitors from 115 countries (2011: 33,781 from 107 countries). Moreover, the high level of internationality on the visitor side is in line with the constant high degree of internationality on the exhibitor side, which, with 533 exhibitors from outside Germany, reached 60 percent in 2012. Thus, Prolight + Sound once again confirmed its position as the world’s foremost trade fair with a comprehensive spectrum of products and services coupled with a large proportion of international exhibitors and visitors.

From the point of view of the trade associations, Prolight + Soundhas continued to extend its leading international position. Thus, Jürgen Kreis and Florian von Hofen of the Professional Lighting & Sound Association of Germany (Verband für Licht-, Ton- und Veranstaltungstechnik - VPLT) consider the fair to have increased in significance for the live-entertainment segment: “Prolight + Sound is the benchmark for the national and international event business when it comes to live entertainment. Information about the sector, innovations and business are the factors for success – and this was even more apparent in 2012 than in the year before.”

After Germany with 23,568 visitors, the biggest visitor nations were The Netherlands (1,724), Italy (1,348), Austria (1,037), Belgium (969), Switzerland (937), France (781), Great Britain (714) and the Russian Federation (696). The largest number of visitors from countries outside Europe came from the People’s Republic of China (534), Japan (226) and the USA (207).

For Bernd Steinigke, CEO of Steinigke Showtechnik, the fair is becoming, “[…] more and more professional every year. The international sector reacts positively to this. Here, you can meet the entire sector. Which means that Prolight + Sound has achieved the status of being the world’s number one event for the sector. We have brought numerous innovations with us this year. For example, we are launching the new chip-on-board LED technology and are pioneers in this field. This new product has proved to be very popular. We are very pleased with the course of business at the fair. We have reached many of our key accounts – both German and European. At Prolight + Sound, you can be sure of finding a very good blend of visitors.”

Overall, visitors gave Prolight + Sound top marks. 97 percent were pleased to extremely pleased with the fair. Moreover, 96 percent answered the important question about ‘goals achieved at the fair’ with ‘satisfactory to extremely satisfactory’. Once again, Prolight + Sound was also given top marks in terms of visitor quality. The fair is the international sector’s most important event for decision makers and managers from the event business when it comes to finding out about new products, technology and services. 58 percent of visitors are managers and 54 percent are directly responsible for their companies’ purchasing decisions. With these outstanding figures, Prolight + Sound has been able to further expand its position as the leading international trade fair for the event business, audio-visual media technology and systems integration as well as production and broadcasting.

The exhibitors of Prolight + Sound confirmed the increased level of visitor quality and internationality. For Christian Bockskopf, Marketing & Communications Manager of Riedel Communications, business at the fair was “[…] very good as always. Visitors made a beeline to see us and were clearly aware that we exhibit at Prolight + Sound. What’s more, the quality of our discussions with them was very good and they asked about our products with specific projects in mind. We not only welcomed many visitors from Germany and the other EU countries to our stand but also experienced a very high level of demand from the Russian market.”

In addition to the extensive and unrivalled range of products and services to be found at Prolight + Sound, the fair is an important venue where professionals meet, exchange information and pass on their knowledge.

New this year was the first Eventplaza Conference – Forum for Event Management – during Prolight + Sound. With a congress and accompanying exhibition, the event was aimed at the new target groups of event managers, event agencies and corporate officers responsible for events. Around 600 visitors attended the congress and exhibition to find out about the latest trends in the eventmanagement sector. Björn Jopen, Managing Director, FairControl GmbH stated: “I really liked the new format of the Eventplaza at Prolight + Sound 2012. The Eventplaza was professionally organised, the lectures were just the right length and the entire lecture program was interesting and well put together.”

The biggest information event at Prolight + Sound is the Media Systems Congress, which was held in Hall 9.T. There, experts from companies active in the fields of media technology and systems integration discussed technical questions of topical interest and gave tips about new products and services. Another important information platform was the Prolight + Sound Forum organised by the VPLT with lectures and panel discussions revolving around legal questions, occupational safety and basic and advanced training. On Friday, day three of the fair, speakers from the Association of German Sound Engineers (Verband Deutscher Tonmeister – VDT) offered insights into the latest developments in the field of studio and recording technology.

The fair takes account of the changing conditions and ways different technologies are used via a variety of supplementary programmes. For example, Prolight + Sound makes manufacturers from the production, broadcasting and recording segment accessible and easier to find no matter whether they are exhibiting at Prolight + Sound or Musikmesse. Depending on the visitor’s budget and aims, products in this category can used by either professionals from the audio and broadcasting sector or semi-professionals and amateurs. To this end, these companies can be found using a special filter in the exhibitor search engine of both fairs. Additionally, visitors could also avail themselves of a printed ‘Quickfinder’ listing all production, broadcasting and recording exhibitors at Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse.
Another group of products and services given particular emphasis at the fair was media technology and systems integration. In this case too, exhibitors could be found quickly and easily using a special filter in the online search engine. During the fair, the ‘Media Technology and Systems Integration Quickfinder’ ensured that visitors were also able to find exhibitors in the halls without difficulty.

More companies that ever before made presentations on the outdoor areas of this year’s Prolight + Sound. At the Portable Sound Arena and the Concert Sound Arena, visitors could see and hear live demonstrations of big and small PA systems. Additionally, a number of suppliers presented mobile stages and tent systems with 360 degree projection facilities.

Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse were opened with the glittering PRG Live Entertainment Award (PRG LEA) Gala event on the eve of both shows. The highlight of the first day was the presentation of the Prolight + Sound awards. The sector’s two most important awards were presented to companies and personalities at an international reception.

The first Opus – German Stage Prize – went to Bertil Mark for his innovative lighting design for the ‘Letzte leise Reise’ (Last Quiet Journey) tour of the ‘Sportfreunde Stiller’ group. The second Opus in the lifetime achievement category went to studio and stage designer Florian Wieder who is responsible for a wide variety of stage sets including the MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards, the DSDS Shows, the European Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf and television shows such as ‘TVTotal’, ‘Wetten dass….?’ ‘Anne Will’, etc.
The Sinus – Systems Integration Award was awarded to Atelier Brückner from Stuttgart as general planner and other participating companies for the planning and media technical equipping of the “Parlamentarium”, the visitor’s center of the European Parliament.

More exhibitor opinions about Prolight + Sound 2012

“This year’s Prolight + Sound was once again very busy for us, thanks partly to the launch of the new SD5 which generated a lot of interest and, most importantly, sales. We had visitors from around the globe, including many Latin American visitors. Prolight + Sound is always a good opportunity for us to meet up with our international distributors.”
Tim Shaxson, Technical Sales Manager, DiGiCo

“For the first time, the ASC presentation focused visually and in terms of content solely on lighting, sound, video and media technology services and emphasised our core area of expertise, systems integration. This drew the attention of a broad spectrum of visitors to us. Thus, we were able to show ourselves to existing customers, such as planners, designers and architects, as an efficient partner who speaks their language with regard to ambience. Additionally, we made numerous interesting new contacts to project managers, which we now aim to turn into good business relations.”
Dierk Elwart, Prokurist, ASC – Amptown System Company GmbH

“The course of business at the fair was very good for us. We are very pleased with the activities at both Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound. This time, we were represented by two exhibition stands for the first time because we target not only musicians but also permanent-installation specialists in the project business. The people we wanted to see came to our stands and we were able to hold excellent discussions. We will very likely be back again with two exhibition stands in 2013.”
Martin Becker, Business Manager, Bose

“The fair was very productive for us and we welcomed numerous existing and potential customers – many of them from outside Germany and many from the adventure-park sector. At Prolight + Sound, we presented the world’s biggest 360-degree projector in a seamless dome, which impressed many visitors. Prolight + Sound is extremely professionally organised and I was very surprised by the sheer size of the fair.”
Thomas Nostiz, Business Development, DTM Group

“Our stand used to be in Hall 5.1. Now, we are in Hall 8.0 and are very pleased with the new location. We are delighted that we were able to persuade Sony to take part again in Prolight + Sound after an eight-year absence. And it already looks very likely that we will be back again next year because we have been able to reach many customers from the fields of PA, theatre, conference technology and permanent installations here at the fair. The highlight of our presentation was our digital wireless microphone system – the functioning system on the market and a pioneering achievement. The echo from our customers was very good because they were able to obtain detailed information about the new system and see it at first hand.”
Sven Conquest, CEO, HL Audio Vertrieb (including sales of Sony Professional Audio Deutschland)

An overview of current trends at Prolight + Sound 2012:


In the audio sector, there were two new products that were awaited with particular interest: firstly, the new VTX series from JBL, which was demonstrated in the ‘Festhalle’ and, secondly, the CL series of digital audio consoles from Yamaha, the quality of which was the subject of great debate throughout the fair. Moreover, many other manufacturers presented existing systems that have been improved through simplifications. Another magnet for visitors was the two outdoor areas, the Concert Sound Arena and Portable Sound Arena, where they had the chance to hear extensive demonstrations of different systems.

This year, the dominant subject in the lighting sector was the efficiency of modern illuminants. Interesting in this connection is that the tried and tested discharge lamps are also enjoying a small comeback. Last year, Clay Paky gave an unmistakable signal with its ‘Sharpy’. This year, it was the Viper series from Martin Professional, which is fitted with the new Lok-it! HTI Power Series illuminant from Osram. The result is a fascinating coexistence of established and new technologies that, time and again, inspires developers to rise to new heights in both directions.

The primary focus in the field of stage technology this year is on safety. Load-measuring systems are an integral aspect of every manufacturer’s range. Additionally, well thought-out details, especially in the case of trusses and sling gear, make products not only easier to work with but also save time – which in turn is helpful in safety terms.

Media technology, networks:
As last year, the dominant factor in the field of network technology was once again the coming AVB standards. Many manufacturers are already preparing their products to be well equipped for the introduction of this all-embracing standard, as in the case of network specialists Riedel Communications, which offers AVB products for its existing, well established systems.

The next Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound trade fairs will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 10 to 13 April 2013.

Debut in Moscow: Messe Frankfurt and the US National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) are cooperating for the first time to première; NAMM Musikmesse Russia and Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia from 16 to 19 May 2012.

Music China and Prolight + Sound Shanghai will take place from 11 to 14 October 2012.

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