Integrate 2016 capitalises on Australia’s high growth in A/V
AUSTRALIA: Following a successful 2015 outing in Melbourne, Integrate took the return ticket back to Sydney’s Olympic Park exhibition hall this year. The newly rebuilt SICEEP at Darling Harbour is not quite ready to open its doors, but the inconvenient out-of-town Showgrounds location together with highly precipitous New South Wales weather failed to deter a committed gathering of industry folks from entering through its turnstiles. Infocomm executive director David Labuskes highlighted the fact that the Australian region is one of the fastest growing A/V markets in the world and this statement was shared by many exhibitors who recorded good attendances.
Amber Technologies, Audio Brands, Australis Music Group, CMI Music & Audio, Hills, Jands, Production AV Technologies, Sennheiser, Stagetec Mediagroup and Technical Audio Group returned 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.
The scene upon entering this year’s Integrate was set by the huge A/V screens from Samsung and LG at the entrance of the hall together with Melbourne-based Production AV Technologies. The SPLs were particularly focussed with an EAW Radius taking pride of place with a six per-side rig, a live band and plenty of food and drink. ‘It’s a big show for us, so we want to do it right,’ exclaimed Production AV Technologies’ Ben Clarke.
Jands shared a booth this year with AVT to co-present Harman-based solutions and products including AMX, JBL and Soundcraft, in addition to many non-Harman brands such as Ampetronic, GLS and Shure. ‘Integrate taps into the systems integration market and has become the show for us to exhibit at here in Australia,’ commented Jands MD Paul Mulholland. ‘However, we will still need to exhibit at SMPTE next year to better promote our broadcast range of products from Clear-Com and Studer, as Integrate still doesn’t draw a broadcasting crowd. As much as Integrate attracts all the main vertical markets, the depth seems to be limited. However, the show is growing and it has been an excellent platform to showcase our latest Shure boardroom and conferencing solutions.’
Having downscaled for several years, Technical Audio Group (TAG) was back to its Integrate best, showcasing great coffees and Q-Sys in addition to Allen & Heath and Martin Audio. As in years gone by, CMI Music returned as a late entry to this year’s show, displaying a bespoke selection of Adamson, AKG, HK Audio, Mackie and XTA products. ‘We’ve just been appointed as the AKG distributor for Australia, so it was important to do some flag waving,’ analysed CMI’s Peter Trojkovic. ‘We decided to book a booth fairly late in the day to promote a wide cross-section of AKG’s wired and wireless mics. However, we’re not showing too many new products from the existing brands we represent.’
It is two years since Hills acquired APG. Unfortunately, it was evident to see that many of those acquired brands have since migrated to Australis Music Group, CMI Music, Midwich and Syntec. However, the booth was bustling with SIs and consultants taking a keen interest in the many brands on offer including Williams Sound assistive listening technologies and Mipro wireless microphone solutions. The NSW-based distributor was also promoting Cadac and Community for the first time in Australia.
Now in its eighth year, Integrate is maturing as a result of the Australian A/V industry’s commitment to support the successful platform. As in 2014, the domed hall closer to the entrance had a more vibrant feel where the larger A/V exhibits were gathered. As reverberant announcements were sporadically made, audio professionals on the show floor winced at the lack of intelligibility. For all the educational discussions on the Internet of Things, AV/IT convergence and digital technologies being made available, it would appear that the poor audio quality continues to be accepted as the norm.