Integrate returns to Sydney Olympic Park
AUSTRALIA: Having relocated from the now defunct Darling Harbour beyond the Sydney suburbs to Olympic Park, Integrate 2014 has opened its doors with organiser Diversified Communications hoping for increased support for the growing A/V trade show.
Indeed, with a floor layout that resembles a compact ISE or Infocomm, Integrate is rapidly maturing. It may only be six years of age, but the show has endured a baptism of fire having had to muscle its way into what many Australians believe is a congested trade show calendar.
Following on from a successful 2013 exhibition, Audio Products Group, CMI Music & Audio, Hills, Jands, Production AV Technologies, Sennheiser and more all converged to woo old and new customers alike. Whilst very few A/V manufacturers exhibit in their own right in Australia, some of the exhibiting distributors and suppliers were joined by representatives from Asia, Europe and North America to better assist their customers during the three day event. The bulk of the exhibitors continued to adopt a bespoke range of applicable products, so as not to overawe the visitors on their booths.
Production AV Technologies was particularly focused towards the entrance of the hall, with Anya taking pride of place with a six per-side rig, a live band and plenty of food and drink. Towards the rear of the hall near the seminar rooms, new kid on the block Audio Brands was exhibiting Bosch, Earthworks, FBT and Rane. ‘We changed our distribution recently to Audio Brands and I feel vindicated for having made this decision,’ commented sales director Dean Standing, visiting from the USA (as was Rusty Waite and Kenton Forsythe from EAW). ‘Australian buyers relate to the smaller companies and individuals rather than the bigger ones,’ he added.
Jands showcased its products in real world application themed quadrants. DIS products were displayed in ‘video conferencing’ and ‘education’ scenarios, Chroma Q and ETC products on the ‘architectural lighting’ display, Aurora multimedia scalers, wall-plates, expanders, extenders and processors on the ‘hospitality’ sector and the more familiar Shure microphones (boundaries, goosenecks, Microflex wireless, Centraverse), BSS processors (BLU-50, -102 and 806), Crown amplifiers (Drivecore), JBL speakers (CBT) and IDX delivery systems on the ‘boardroom solutions’ mock-up. Less evident, but none the less sectioned, Sennheiser displayed a variety of its products in a boardroom application. Although K-Array products were not on display, Apart speakers were showcased.
CMI Music has been enhancing its credentials in the pro audio and A/V sectors for several years, having taken on distribution for brands such as Adamson, Duran Audio, HK Audio, MC2, One Systems, Tascam and XTA. Since Integrate 2012, the company has assumed sole distribution for both Command Fusion and Mackie.
APG’s booth appeared to agglomerate more speaker systems than any other. Various column, ceiling and in-wall models from Tannoy and TOA were on display together with a more refined selection from Audica. In addition, the latest Biamp Tesira forte platform was demonstrated. AKG microphones, DNH industrial speakers from Norway, Revolabs Executive Elite and Wyrestorm splitters were also integrated into the booth design. Despite the announcement of its acquisition by Hills in June, the two companies appear – for now – to be operating as before.
Rather than overpower or distract the audio exhibits, video technology ran through the show and enhanced it.
Technical Audio Group (TAG) once again presented a compact booth. Having represented as many as 20 brands at one point, TAG now focuses on four and at Integrate 2014, the booth solely represented one – QSC Audio, with a small selection of amplifiers and Q-Sys networkable processors.
Having found a stable platform at the Darling Harbour venue for the past two editions of Integrate, the risky relocation to the peripheral setting of Olympic Park has if anything emboldened the event’s credentials.
‘We booked late in the day with a booth that is a third of the size of the one we had last year,’ commented CMI’s Peter Trojkovic. ‘I’ve been surprised by the amount of traffic and people we’ve seen – it’s definitely been a worthwhile investment.’ However, Cameron O’Neill from Riedel, promoting Mediornet 2.0, was located beyond the domed hall and reported: ‘It’s quieter for us than last year being located here.’