Cabsat doesn’t feel the Frankfurt effect
MENA: Despite the clash in dates, Pro Light & Sound had no noticeable effect on Dubai's recent Cabsat show. Once again Halls one to eight of the Dubai World Trade Centre were filled with every conceivable type of broadcast and satellite manufacturer, and crowds came readily through the door to see what was on show.
One of the initial fears for the event was that people would have to choose one show over the other. However, the different customer base and manufacturing fraternity ensured that this was largely not the case. In truth, it would have been a lot worse if Cabsat clashed with an international broadcast show, such as NAB, but of all the global gatherings that Cabsat could have shared dates with, this was possibly the best option.
The general feeling offered by many exhibitors was that Cabsat is now one of the biggest broadcast shows in the world, and the importance of the Middle East as a region meant that it was simply unmissable.
This does not mean that there was no effect. The first day of the show seemed busier than usual as many people took the opportunity to visit Cabsat before flying to Frankfurt. This was as true for exhibitors as it was for visitors. Many of the booths, such as NMK’s, had people on the stand for the first day who were preparing to make the trip.
Equally, a large number of companies such as Sennheiser, Riedel and JoeCo split their teams, enabling them to adequately cover both events.
For those who did choose Cabsat, there was a lot to see and take in. Studer was showing its new Vista X from its Infinity Series on the GSL stand, while SSL decided to introduce Live to the region and gave many engineers their first opportunity to get hands-on with the desk. TSL Products used the show to preview its new Axius Managed Ethernet Switch for audio over IP and there were also important new products from the likes of Harris Broadcast (as was) and Grass Valley.
Equally, a special mention has to go to Sony for what was arguably the best designed booth. Taking inspiration from Dubai’s souks, the manufacturer and systems integrator presented its wares in a particularly eye-catching way.
Avid provided perhaps the most significant draw. Not only were the S6 and S3L on show over both the Avid stand and that of local distributor MediaCast, but it also provided the highlight of the conference programme. Academy Award winning Gravity editor, Mark Sanger was on hand to share his knowledge and techniques and why he chooses to use the manufacturer's products in his work.
Away from what was on show, the type of visitor again proved to be a talking point amongst exhibitors. Cabsat has established itself as a genuinely regional show, and many exhibitors saw visitors not only from the UAE, but the wider GCC, the rest of the Middle East and various parts of Africa. The common feeling was that while exhibitors were never rushed off their feet, the people who they did see we're of a very high quality.
The end result was a largely positive show floor. Visitors had enough to keep them interested and entertained, while exhibitors saw the right kind of people who wanted to talk about real projects. Hopefully this can be improved upon next year by avoiding any awkward clashes.
A full show review will be published in the May-June edition of Pro Audio Middle East.