A new concept for Prolight + Sound 2016 continues path to growth

Broad-based training programme delivers expert knowledge for the event sector

Confidence surrounding the future development of Prolight + Sound: the 2016 international trade fair of technologies and services for entertainment, integrated systems and creation will be noted, not just for many changes and developments, but also for a broad spectrum of exhibitors from all segments of the event sector.


So, whilst 2015 was a record year, the prediction is for further growth, with the new optimised concept, put forward by the organisers, laying the necessary groundwork. Prolight + Sound will take place from 5 to 8 April 2016 and underscore its reputation as the most important meeting place for companies and trade visitors from all spheres of event and stage technology, AV media technology and systems integration along with studio technology and broadcasting. “Over many years the event industry has rode a strong economic wave. So it needs a trade fair platform that keeps pace with this impressive growth trend. Commitment to Prolight + Sound, combined with strong investment, has made the show fit for the future, providing the sector with an unrivalled global show space and trading point”, explains Michael Biwer, Director of Prolight + Sound.

Christopher Sparkes, Stephan Kurzawski and Michael Biwer


All the key players in the event technology market have already announced their attendance, including Adam Hall, Audio-Technica, Avid Technology, Ayrton Sas, B&K Braun, Chain Master Bühnentechnik, Clay Paky, d&b audiotechnik, dBTechnologies, DiGiCo, Elation, Harman International, JB-Lighting, L-Acoustics, Lawo, MA Lighting, Martin Professional, Meyer Sound, Monacor, nivtec-flexibel, Peavey, Pioneer DJ, Riedel, Robe Lighting and Sennheiser. The high number of companies that have re-booked space or increased the size of their stand is testament to their confidence in the changes. What is more, there are many manufacturers and service providers who will be at Prolight + Sound for the first time for this premiere of the new concept.

Cornerstones of the new concept
The increasing demand for exhibition space for the booming event sector resulted in a fundamental change to the hall layout. From 2016 Prolight + Sound will be held on the East Side of the Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre. It has been possible to extend the range of products and subject areas by utilising six halls and an extensive outdoor area. The sequence of days is also changing: in future Prolight + Sound will open Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 7 pm. Holding the trade fair over four working days underscores Prolight + Sound’s profile as a professional trade fair. To the same end the conference and seminar programme will be extended to fill every day of the trade fair and will also undergo further structural optimisation. Messe Frankfurt has also further expanded the global marketing of the event to reinforce Prolight + Sound’s outstanding reputation as international ‘coming-together’ and global trading platform.


The new hall layout on the east side
Six product areas provide a unique global overview of new product development across the sector. Hall 3.0 features exhibitors from theatre, studio and stage lighting along with stage technology, machinery and lifting beams. In addition to current trends in the field of lighting, visitors to Hall 4.0 will find innovative new products relating to media, film and camera technology, displays, video and LED. Spectacular effects for shows and events are on display in Hall 5.0 along with innovative installation fittings for event venues.

Halls 3.1 and 4.1 provide a special focal point for sound, studio and radio engineers. The first hall focuses on public address systems of all sizes and application areas, while the second gives prominence to manufacturers from the areas of microphone technology, production, broadcasting and recording. Digital audio networking technology is a growth area which is also featured extensively in this hall.


Forum.0 creates a perfect presentational environment for associations, publishers, service providers and educational establishments. Companies on the outdoor area have the opportunity to display their products in outdoor conditions: from PA systems to mobile stages, from LED walls to tent systems.

This coming year, to help visitors find the products which are particularly relevant to them, there will again be brochures for specific product groups. These so-called quickfinders provide a concise list of each respective exhibitor in the ‘special interest’ areas of Broadcast, Production + Recording (e.g. audio-interfaces, mixing consoles, monitoring systems), Media Systems (e.g. loudspeakers for permanent installations, control systems, communications technology), Stagery (e.g. lifting beams, stage components, theatre fixtures and fittings) in addition to Eventplaza (e.g. furniture, decoration, transportation solutions, software for organisers). Exhibitors from the individual special interest areas are also able to advertise directly through the online search on the Prolight + Sound Internet site and the Prolight + Sound app.

Wide-ranging offers for young professionals on Future Talents Day
Prolight + Sound 2016 is set to extend its appeal to event sector students, trainees and vocational school pupils. The Future Talents Day on the new trade fair Tuesday (5 April) brings talented young people together with the sector’s companies. Young professionals are able to get a broad idea of the career possibilities in these companies and for this target group the trade fair also provides effective matchmaking programmes, guided tours and special lectures.


Significant knowledge platform on all four days of the show
As a consequence of the new sequence of days, the programme of Prolight + Sound seminars will extend over the four days of the show. Renowned speakers will deliver around 50 lectures, communicating valuable, sector-specific, practical knowledge and providing the background to technological progress and new application areas.

The lectures take place in Forum.0. They are free to trade fair visitors and bundled into two series of seminars. The Prolight + Sound Conference focuses on professional users in all areas of event technology. It deals with a correspondingly broad range of subjects – including questions on all aspects of lighting and sound design in addition to network technology and server mapping, rigging, stage construction and much more. The Eventplaza Conference communicates trends and strategies for event and incentive managers, marketing managers, communication and human resources along with congress and conference organisers. It offers a programme that is strictly tailored to this target group and highlights what you need to take into account when planning and implementing high-profile events and how innovative technologies can support this process.

A new feature of this year’s programme is the way each day of the show takes a key thematic area, which is featured across both the Prolight + Sound and the Eventplaza Conference. On Tuesday the focus is on professional qualification and encouraging young people into the industry, while Wednesday concentrates on safety at events together with legal framework conditions, when the successfully established International Event Safety Conference (I-ESC) takes place. The speakers on Thursday and Friday deal with a broad spectrum of content concerning event technology and marketing. It includes everything from new technical standards in the audio and video area to the management of radio frequencies and new approaches to marketing and controlling. In addition, the Manufacturers’ Forum gives manufacturers the chance to use actual real-life projects to demonstrate current developments in event technology.


High profile award ceremonies taking place during the trade fair
Prolight + Sound is not just a business and knowledge platform but also a stage for the sector’s high-profile awards. The Opus – German Stage Award – has been presented since 2002 for outstanding achievement in the areas of theatre and stage production, live events and open-air events. It recognises people who have earned renown through their work in all aspects of stage design, lighting design, video, sound design and technical realisation. In addition, the Sinus – Systems Integrations Award – recognises projects noted for the innovative and pioneering use of media technology and systems integration. In so doing it turns the spotlight on the outstanding contribution of companies working in the area of audio-visual communication. What is more, Frankfurt is once again a meeting place for the who’s who of international trade journalists to present the Prolight + Sound International Press Award (PIPA). This prize recognises the best products in the professional audio and video industry. The award ceremonies take place on 7 April 2016 as part of a festival evening event in the ‘Europa’ room (Hall 4.0).


Strong partners and valuable synergies 
This new trade fair concept was born not just from close dialogue with companies and visitor groups, but also took into consideration the wishes and requirements of the sector’s main associations. The supporters of Prolight + Sound include amongst others the Professional Lighting & Sound Association of Germany (Verband für Licht-, Ton- und Veranstaltungstechnik - VPLT), European Association of Event Centers (Europäischer Verband der Veranstaltungs-Centren - EVVC), the Event Business Interest Group (Interessensgemeinschaft Veranstaltungswirtschaft (IGVW), Association of German Sound Engineers (Verband Deutscher Tonmeister – VDT ), the Federation of German Disk Jockeys (Berufsverband Deutscher Diskjockeys e. V. - BVD), the Federation of Professional Film and Television Associations (Vereinigung der Berufsverbände Film und Fernsehen (Die Filmschaffenden e. V.)) and AV Alliance, the international event technology rental network, along with many partners from the media and education sector.

In the coming year synergies between Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse, the international trade fair for musical instruments, sheet music, music production and music business connections, will be maintained. Musikmesse takes place from 7 to 10 April 2016, which means that it coincides with Prolight + Sound on the Thursday and Friday. On these days the entry ticket for Prolight + Sound also enables entrance to Musikmesse.

In 2015 Prolight + Sound had 920 exhibitors from 41 countries – the largest number ever. With 43,054 visitors from 133 countries the trade fair also marked another record.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €554 million in sales and employing 2,130 people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 29 subsidiaries and 57 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 121 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Comprising an area of 592,127 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres. The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds. Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.