Music China 2012
The aisles were bustling during the 11th annual Music China and Prolight & Sound show in Shanghai, which took place from October 10-14. Now considered one of the largest music & sound industry gatherings in the world, the expanded show seemed to reflect growth with increased exhibit space across various categories in size and scope.
According to Evan Sha of Messe Frankfurt Shanghai, companies like Buffet Crampon, Yamaha, Roland, and Dixon Drums increased the footprint of their booths by 20 to 50 percent. The international presence was quite visible, with over 1,000 companies exhibiting at the Music China event and 419 at the Prolight & Sound show. The number of international pavilions also grew this year, including those from the UK, Taiwan Spain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, and Belgium. Additionally, this was Japan’s first entry with a pavilion at the show. Mr. Mochizuki Tomoharu, head of the Japan Trade Fair Division said that “[with an], All-Japan Consortium the result would be an exceptional opportunity to explore the global musical instrument market.”
Although there are numerous indications that China’s pace of economic growth is slowing, it wasn’t apparent at this year’s show, as it was still quite evident that more companies are looking to increase their market share in the Asian markets. Harvey Levy of Levy’s Leathers mentioned that each year his company sells more into the Chinese market. David Gartland of Saga Musical Instruments indicated that they were looking to enhance their visibility and distribution in the Chinese and Asian markets. “It appears that the consumers in this market like products that are made in the USA, especially those who are influenced by the guitar gods,” he said. “Kids here in China are listening to older, more classic music and are catching up. Music like bluegrass is unfamiliar to them, but they are exploring and discovering it, along with other types of Western music.”
Lothar Kiesche of Schimmel Pianofortefabrik told MMR that this is the tenth year in the Chinese market for the high-end piano maker. Kiesche believes that it is still an early-stage market and that the process of purchasing pianos in China is being established. They still take a conservative approach to the market, but he believes that, long-term, there is great potential for growth and that the market is shifting towards better instruments.
NAMM also had a considerable presence at the show with their NAMM University sessions, which included clinics by Doug Lady of Hal Leonard Corp., Mr. Qin Chuan of Hebei Qinchuan Musical Instruments, Mr. Blue Lan of KHSTianjin, and Ms. Zhou Zhou of Bole Piano Pro.
At a press conference sponsored by the Messe Frankfurt organization, Detlef Braun, managing director of the organization, outlined important new initiatives for 2013. One of these includes the important acquisition of the Music Guanghzhou trade fair, a show that takes place in March and is mostly known as an OEM sourcing show. Other initiatives include: doubling of the size of the Russian show, due to the strong potential of the market in that country; investing more in the Frankfurt Fair and changing the layout of the halls for the show; plus, evaluating new destinations and markets for potential roll-outs.