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Successful prolight+sound in Frankfurt

With rising visitor numbers and a cheerful mood the prolight+sound 2008 has been a huge success.

After four days, the International Musikmesse and the Prolight + Sound trade fair closed their doors today after setting a number of new records: "Together, the two leading trade fairs attracted 112,000 visitors, more than ever before", said Detlef Braun, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt. "The atmosphere generated by the trade, industry and service sector in Frankfurt was excellent and they have gone away to begin their post-fair business with full address and order books. A high level of satisfaction on both the exhibitor and visitor sides was apparent from the very first day of the fair. With this great echo and a record number of 2,500 exhibitors, the Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound have convincingly demonstrated the correctness of their concepts where it counts – in the market place – in their third and second decades respectively."

The 112,000 visitors (2007: 107,600) came from 126 countries. The best-represented European visitor nations after Germany were Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, Spain, Austria and Greece. From overseas, the most visitors travelled from the USA, South Korea, Japan, Israel, China, Australia, Brazil and Canada.

This year saw Prolight + Sound take the final step to being the international platform for large-scale projects in the event-technology sector. Günther Sonderwald, Martin Professional (Germany): "Prolight + Sound has always been the most important indicator for our sector. Never before, however, have so many major projects and strategic investments been discussed as this year. Accordingly, it is no exaggeration to speak of this fair as a great success."

Prolight + Sound has developed this profile through its unique spectrum of seminars, product demonstrations and forums for experts from the fields of event technology and management: with the Prolight + Sound Media Systems trade fair, it presents the latest media technology and systems integration innovations. The associated Media Systems Congress was the biggest information event at Prolight + Sound and attracted 500 participants to its 35 lectures and discussions. New this year was the MICE exhibition area ('Messen' (Fairs), Incentives, Conventions, Events) at which 20 event-centre operators made presentations aimed at corporate event planners, event managers and marketing managers.

Both exhibitors and visitors were extremely pleased with the results of the fair. 89 percent of exhibitors said they were very satisfied with their business results and emphasised not only the orders place but also the purchasing and decision-making authority of visitors. The visitor level of satisfaction remained at the same very high level as 2007: 97 percent.

A high degree of attention was accorded by more than the specialist groups concerned to the Sinus – Systems Integration Award, which was given for the fifth time running for outstanding achievements in the field of media technology and systems integration, and to the 7th Opus – German Stage Prize – for technical and design achieve¬ments in the stage and set construction.

With 35 percent of visitors coming from abroad, both fairs confirmed their position as the world's biggest trade fairs for, on the one hand, musical instruments, music software & computer hardware, sheet music and accessories and, on the other hand, event and communication technology, audio-visual production and entertainment. For German suppliers and the trade, they are and will remain the biggest order platforms.

The extensive complementary programme of this year's Musikmesse with 250 live concerts, workshops, product demonstrations, activities for young people, autograph sessions and awards ceremonies more than justified the Musikmesse's claim to present the world of music making in all its multifarious aspects – not just for the trade but also for the general public. Thus, the public day on Saturday attracted tens of thousands of music lovers.

Stars such as Paquito D’Rivera, Slash, Howard Jones, Yngwie Malmsteen and Revolverheld gave live performances. This year's Frankfurt Music Prize went to Latin jazz musician Paquito D’Rivera, the German Music Instrument Prize of the German Ministry for Economics and Technology to three instrument makers from Saxony, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Piano Player of the Year was entertainer Helge Schneider. The final round of the sixth edition of the SchoolJam competition for school bands throughout Germany was won by two groups from the State of Hesse: 'Glory of Joann' from Eschwege and 'The Humus' from Frankfurt am Main.

The statistics for the Musikmesse reflect the record participation on the exhibitor side: 1,652 companies (2007: 1,603) presented their brand-name instruments and new products. Prolight + Sound was also distinguished by a new exhibitor record with 837 companies (2007: 795). Together, the two fairs occupied 180,000 square metres of exhibition space (gross) in the halls and on the outdoor area.

The international Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound trade fairs will next be held in Frankfurt am Main from 1 to 4 April 2009.

Professional Lighting & Sound Association of Germany (Verband für Licht-, Ton- und Veranstaltungstechnik - VPLT), Florian von Hofen, General Manager: "This year's Prolight + Sound was the best ever and, thanks to the increase in the level of internationality and the high degree of trade-visitor quality, it was an absolute must for every¬one in the event industry thanks to the extensive range of exhibits, a huge number of German and foreign trade visitors from all segments and a programme of seminars and demonstrations that is virtually unparalleled in terms of topicality and expertise."

EVI Audio GmbH, Robert Hesse, Vice President: "We are very pleased with the fair. We were able to welcome many of our regular customers to our stand, as well as make numerous new contacts to potential customers from all over the world. Our press conference on the last day attracted a very large number of participants. All in all, we have be able to set a new record for participant numbers at this year's Prolight + Sound. There is no better meeting place for so many visitors and exhibitors."

Robe Lighting s.r.o., Harry von den Stemmen (Czech Republic): "We are extremely satisfied. Prolight + Sound is the fair where one can do the best business. We had a very large number of visitors on the first day. The demonstrations held in separate rooms of the Exhibition Centre were also very popular."

Hannover Congress Centrum, Joachim König, Vice President of the European Association of Event Centres (Europäischer Verband der Veranstaltungs-Centren - EVVC): "This was our first time at Prolight + Sound and a very remarkable debut it was, too. Now, we must see what we can develop for next year. Our expectations for the first time were not very high so we will have to see how things develop over the next two to threes years. As a combined presentation, MICE proved to be an excellent platform and we can confirm that many outstanding contacts were made. Following this impressive demonstration of what can be achieved, we are already looking forward to the next Prolight + Sound in 2009.