Positive reaction to Mediatech
SOUTH AFRICA: There is something special about Mediatech Africa. It has the right formula, genuine support from the industry and a show floor that crackles with positivity. In short, this is everything a local or regional event could wish to achieve.
Mediatech 2011 was very much a local show. The audience was predominantly South African and while a few manufacturer representatives made the journey to Johannesburg, the majority of people on the stands were local dealers and distributors. The 2013 edition had a very different feel with Tadco’s Simon Oates describing it as ‘an intercontinental show’ rather than a local or regional one. Evidence of this could be seen on the Tadco booth. Not only were there international representatives from the likes of DiGiCo, Nexo and Coda Audio, but the crowd visiting the distributor’s stand was from across Africa.
‘I think the overseas manufacturer’s representatives are very happy and impressed,’ said Mr Oates. ‘I think there has been an increase in intercontinental content and we are hitting a springboard that needs to be hit in terms of this continent. I think they have done an incredible show and I think it is critical to this industry that it continues.’
‘I think it’s been terribly positive,’ agreed WMA’s Julian Young who was at the show to represent MediaMatrix. ‘It’s been very good, very busy, and all the right people are here.’
This view was echoed by manufacturers and exhibitors across the show floor. ‘Compared to my experiences at Frankfurt, the traffic and the interest I’ve had here has been fantastic,’ said Surgex’s Kevin Bromberger on the Audiosure stand. ‘There has been a genuine interest.’
‘The first day was surprisingly good, normally the first day of a show is a little bit slow, but I was speechless at how many people showed up,’ said Electro-Voice’s Klaus Seitz on the Prosound booth. ‘I must say there are a good number of people with a good knowledge of the industry. They asked the right questions and there were some interesting projects.’
‘The show has been great, we have seen a lot of existing customers and had interesting chats with a lot of potential customers, so we have been busy every day,’ said d&b audiotechnik’s Christian Stumpp on the Stage Audio Works stand. ‘I didn’t know what to expect when I came to the show, but it’s really buzzing. It’s nice to have a trade show that’s positive.’
The biennial nature of the event certainly plays a part in encouraging large numbers to attend. With two years between exhibitions, everything on show is new and interesting to visitors. Equally, the all-encompassing style means that there is something at the show for everyone.
Large crowds were drawn to hear systems from the likes of Alcons, L-Acoustics, DAS Audio, DB Technologies, Martin Audio, JBL, LD Systems, Coda Audio and Nexo at the outdoor demo zone. However, while popular, this area did draw the solitary complaint that was made about the show. Many felt a limit of 85dB was not enough to prove the capabilities of the various systems.
The Africa Loudness Summit provided a platform for broadcasters and manufacturers to discuss the issues in Africa and experience some of the technology available to help. There were also workshops from the Southern African Broadcasting Association. Added to this were sessions from DWR Distribution on rigging, plus various lighting and video sessions.
There were also a number of manufacturer demonstrations of new technology around the show floor and in the numerous demo rooms. Electro-Voice launched its ZLX system in South Africa, Studer had a dedicated broadcast demo room on the Wild & Marr stand while there were also sessions from Eurotruss and Extron. Avid also put a lot of stock in demonstrating systems at Mediatech. Robb Allan introduced the new S3L live sound console while Sreejesh Nair provided an insight into Pro Tools 11. ‘We had absolutely full workshops even in the late afternoon of day three,’ said Avid’s Veronica Lode. ‘We’ve had very full sessions and a lot of good questions.’
The highlight of Mediatech was reserved for the clear levels of support it received from international manufacturers. ‘I think the quality and support from the manufacturers across all the brands has been fantastic,’ said Harman’s Dave Budge on the Wild & Marr stand. ‘It may be the furthest point from most manufacturers, but the communications and ease of getting down here has been incredibly easy and the returns are very good.’
‘It seems to be supported a lot better by manufacturers this year,’ agreed Apart’s Ian Hodgkinson. ‘Two years ago there were only a few people from Europe and other parts of the world, but this year there are a lot more people here. It’s obviously being taken more seriously than it has been before.’
‘We’ve got most of our international guys here, and it’s not just us, all of the international guys are attending,’ said Tiaan Hoogstad from TID which had products from Biamp, Bose, and beyerdynamic on its booth. ‘It shows that the rest of the world is realising just how good a market it is.’
As the doors closed on a very successful show more than a few eyes had been opened to the success story that is Mediatech Africa. ‘It’s surpassed expectations,’ smiled show organiser Simon Robinson. ‘We came off a great show in 2011, but this is really up another level. It’s scary because you’ve got to deliver on another level for 2015.’
A full review of Mediatech Africa 2013 will appear in the September-October edition of Pro Audio Middle East.