Pro AVL Asia and Tourism Technology Asia marks its territory
SINGAPORE: Three long years have passed since the last broad-range trade show for professional audio, video and lighting equipment was staged in Singapore. In the void of any trade shows, Singaporean based businesses and suppliers have been gathering their own crowds when hosting product demonstrations, launches, training seminars and networking events. Despite Singapore being a major hub in South East Asia, it would appear that no one had really missed a trade show in the small city-state.
Well, no one apart from organiser Globe International Events Consultancy (GIEC), which was supported by the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Hotel Association in its attempt to create Tourism Technology Asia (TTA) and Pro AVL Asia 2016. The management team led by managing director Rosalind Ng certainly know how to put on an event having hosted the Pala and Palm shows since 1989. By focusing on the needs of the hospitality sector, the new concept clearly set its goals on evolution rather than carrying on where the three-day Palm exhibition signed off.
‘Tourism Technology Asia held in conjunction with the Pro AVL Asia exhibition and conference is a two-in-one event conceived as a result of an industry survey indicating a need for a professional trade platform for the South East Asia region that provides a complete range of business solutions and services for the hospitality and tourism trade,’ stated Ms Ng in her opening speech. No one quite knew who was polled in this ‘industry survey’.
The TTA and Pro AVL Asia event targeted hotels, resorts, theme parks and other leisure venues as users of entertainment technology. Although many loyal audio, video and lighting suppliers were convinced to promote themselves at the two-day exhibition and conference, the other tourism technology suppliers – control, IT, ticketing, building management – were largely absent. As a result, the show floor resembled a ‘Pala Lite’ format.
The exhibition itself was composed of around 50 booths. The larger displays of the Singaporean audio/video/lighting suppliers and local subsidiaries of overseas corporations together with some Chinese manufacturers dominated. Beyond the show floor exhibits, a tight schedule of 17 seminars, workshops and off-site backstage tours focusing on sound reinforcement, lighting design and hospitality technologies encouraged learning, an exchange of knowledge and networking. As is always the case, these off-floor attractions largely prevented visitors and attendees from visiting the exhibition booths.
‘Generally, the concept of the event with targeting the tourism and hospitality industry was welcomed by most exhibitors,’ commented Sindo Exports Pte Ltd director Y K Koh. Promoting QSC and MyMix products on its booth, Mr Koh furthered: ‘Linking the AVL industry with tourism and hospitality helps. We are happy to say the show turned out actually better than expected.’ Project designers and integrators Swee Lee tried to impress with showcases of its work, largely displayed by Epson projectors. ‘While we are seeing the right people from this sector, there is a need for stronger marketing, so that more would take notice and attend the show,’ countered Swee Lee’s sales manager Dean Chua. Balancing the generally positive feedback heard from exhibitors, criticisms and suggestions for future improvements could also be heard. Like any new exhibition format, there is certainly room, if not need, for improvement.
Perhaps such wishes will be realised, as the organisers have already confirmed that next year’s TTA and Pro AVL will span three days on 26-28 July in Singapore. According to the organisers, TTA and Pro AVL recorded an attendance of just over 2,000 visitors over the two days. Just 18 per cent of these visitors flew into Singapore from other Asian countries in addition to Australia, Europe and North America.