Musikmesse in Frankfurt has been a central feature of the MI industry’s international calendar for more than 40 years. Its sister event for over 20 years, Prolight+Sound, has also firmly established itself in the professional audio, lighting and entertainment technology markets. This has meant that Frankfurt in April has been a confirmed appointment for many in the music, audio and lighting products industry. But despite many years of continual refinements, it is possible that this is starting to change for some.
Does Practice Make Perfect?
As that well-known German saying reminds us, Übung macht den Meister – Practice makes perfect. But as many musicians will know, it is possible to over practice. Or in the case of trade shows, repeated tinkering does not necessarily led to a wholesale improvement…
…So, here is the gripe for many – there is one familiar aspect of the show we have all come to expect: change. There has been so much change in recent years, it could be said that arriving for the annual European gathering of the music, audio and entertainment products industry is starting to feel a little like participating in a Lucky Dip!
This almost continual refinement with the format from one year to the next
(practicing you might say, or perhaps put another way, experimentation) , including hall locations, outdoor & demo facilities areas, dates & access to the public, has meant that it has become hard for exhibitors and visitors to know what they can expect or plan for. As a result, we have seen a steady reduction of brands attending this event, following as it does both NAMM in the US, and the hugely successful ISE in Europe, which both take place only a month or two before.
More Focus for a Stronger Show
The reduction in size and scale could be seen as a good thing, allowing the shows’ market focus to become clearer. In some cases this has certainly made for a stronger show. For Professional Audio, incorporating installed and live sound, as well as the entertainment lighting sector, there is a strong critical mass at the heart of Prolight+Sound. Despite this some notable players in this space have still decided not to participate over recent years.
At last: the two events run for the same days!
So what’s good (and new) this year? The organisers have taken some particularly bold steps, in particular, we now have the much requested alignment of the dates so that Musikmesse and Prolight+Sound finally run for the same days from Tues to Saturday.
Additionally, with fewer halls, and more consolidation for audio and sound reinforcement, plus a move again into a different hall (back to Hall 8.0 following several very successful years where pro-audio had happily established itself in Hall 3.1), together will all mean that there is a very different and new feel around the Messe Halls this year.
The Future of MI alongside Pro
The increased presence of technology in music performance and creation, has meant the lines between Pro and MI have become more and more blurred (especially in the areas of recording and production). And in recent years this seems to have left the traditional musical instrument business struggling to keep its position at the heart of the Frankfurt event under the Musikmesse umbrella, and a number of major global MI brands who have now abandoned the event all together.
For many industry professionals and exhibitors the ‘Pro’ element has now caught up with, and even superseded, its big sister. Will we see this trend continue? Highly likely, if recent years are anything to go on.
Read more: You can read more about the changes for this year’s event in this article by Colby Ramsey published in Audio Media in September 2018.
Frankfurt 2019: Business will be done!
We have no doubt that plenty of business will be done in the week ahead. The events will feature many new products and technology launches – coming as they do at such a key time in the business calendar. But we will arrive this week prepared for the unexpected in terms of the dynamic of another new look for the event, and we will be taking the temperature across the various markets that are represented. Watch this space for our post-event evaluation!
We look forward to meeting up with many of our clients and friends on the show floor and around town and we hope everyone involved in the event has a successful and profitable week.
Jo and Richard will both be in Frankfurt this week. If you are looking at ways to identify and secure new top talent for your business or engineering teams we would be happy to meet with you to learn more about the challenges you face and discuss how we can help you with your recruitment efforts. Just follow the link below to arrange a call or a meeting at the show.
You can also email email@example.com. call +44 20 8986 5002, or email Jo or Richard directly to schedule something directly.