Mixed reactions as Prolight & Sound 2017 opens
WORLD: Day one of Frankfurt Prolight & Sound opened its doors to a much-reduced show, both in terms of footprint and footfall. However, product launches were in plentiful supply, with an array of newly-introduced products ranging from microphone clips to digital consoles.
DPA Microphones kicked off proceedings with DiGiCo, Stagetec, SSL, Yamaha, K-array and Funktion One all following suit with new introductions. Adam Hall brand LD Systems unveiled the results of its collaboration with the Porsche Design Studio while Adamson, L-Acoustics, Outline, Beyma and Faital all had their fair share of new releases on display. Most notable of all was Martin Audio, which released no fewer than 10 new products.
Some companies were introducing new personnel. d&b audiotechnik was proud to announce that after a previous tenure with the company, former Sydney Opera House stalwart David Claringbold has joined as chief marketing officer. Jeff Rocha has left EAW for L-Acoustics, DiGiCo welcomed Austin Freshwater as general manager while DPA’s new CEO, Kalle Hvidt Neilson, participated in his first PL&S.
Most of the action was taking place in Hall 3.1, where the bulk of the pro audio contingent was concentrated. However even this busiest of halls was quiet in comparison to previous years, and aisles appeared wider between the stands.
Notable by their absence were several long-term PL&S exhibitors, and not just long distance ones such as Meyer Sound and Genelec. Local German companies including Sennheiser, Electro-Voice, HK Audio and Eve Audio also decided to stay away, despite the show being on home turf.
At the end of day one, opinions were divided about the show’s ongoing relevance. There has been evidence in recent years that ISE is taking much of Frankfurt’s prowess, and this year the difference between the two was starker than ever. Day two, when the overlap with Musik Messe begins, will be the litmus test for the most burning issue. Do people stay away from the pro audio only day to maximise the value of their visit by taking in the MI side too?
PL&S continues at the Frankfurt Messe until Friday 7 April with Musik Messe until Saturday 8 April.