Despite the challenges related to the worldwide economic crisis, the 30th annual Musikmesse and ProLight & Sound show in Frankfurt, Germany showed surprising resiliency. The gathering is the largest convention of musical instrument and audio/lighting companies in the world and, although the number of exhibitors was slightly down from last year, this year’s show still featured an extraordinary list of companies, with 1,560 exhibitors at the Musikmesse and 850 at the ProLight & Sound show, representing 47 countries. The U.S. fielded 46 companies at the ProLight & Sound show and 132 at the Musikmesse. Attendance figures from the Messe management indicated approximately 111,000 visitors, a slight increase over last year’s attendance, although the attendance from people outside of Germany was down by 3.5 percent. Some U.S. exhibitors suggested that attendance from American dealers was down significantly. The best represented visitor nations after Germany were The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Spain, and the Czech Republic. The most non-European visitors came from the U.S.A., South Korea, the People’s Republic of China, and Japan.
Recently completed survey leads to new levels of partnership…The iMSO just wants to talk – you know, about the relationship…”I’ve believed from the get-go that the job was to figure out what was on their minds and what their perceptions of us are,” says iMSO (Independent Music Store Owners) board member Chris Lovell and owner of Memphis’ Strings and Things. “They” are the manufacturers and suppliers whose products move down the pipeline into independent music stores all over the country and, while it would seem that the lines of communications would have always been open and that a clear understanding of their symbiotic relationship was in place, iMSO has learned what many of the members have long suspected: Misperceptions and misunderstandings abound.