After four days full of innovative presentations, exciting conferences and emotional encounters, Prolight + Sound 2023 closes with a significant increase in visitor numbers. More than 27,500 professionals from 113 countries attended the leading trade fair for the entertainment technology industry from April 25 to 28, 2023. Current topics such as the implementation of sustainable events or the increasing demand for specialists and young talents were discussed – in this regard, the Prolight + Sound conference programme offered numerous future-oriented approaches and solutions. Following the end of global travel restrictions, it was the first opportunity for many industry participants to visit the show since 2019. This is reflected in the high internationality of the event: Half of the visitors came from outside Germany.

457 exhibitors from 34 countries demonstrated the industry’s innovative strength in an impressive way. “The event industry is back – and it has its international home at Prolight + Sound. The past four days have left no doubt about that. Together with the industry, we have taken action to promote the business. We are continuing on this path and investing consistently in the event. The high level of satisfaction on both the exhibitor and visitor sides, and, above all, the impressive internationality, provide a strong basis for further growth in all product areas – and thus for the successful future of Prolight + Sound,” says Wolfgang Marzin, Chairman of the Board of Management, Messe Frankfurt.

At the product presentations in the exhibition halls, there was a clear trend towards IP-based connectivity of lighting, sound and stage technology components. More and more, these can be controlled and monitored regardless of location and across devices: The “Internet of Things” is already a reality in the event industry. In addition, the sector’s commitment to sustainable event operations is having an increasing impact on product designs. Systems with high energy efficiency, long service life, transport-friendly design and a high proportion of recyclable materials were high on the agenda.

Providing impetus for tomorrow’s event business

Despite all the confidence in the event industry and a positive underlying mood, the effects of the high demand for skilled workers are particularly noticeable. The industry associations and Messe Frankfurt joined forces at Prolight + Sound to create enthusiasm for a career in the event business and to connect professionals looking for new challenges with companies. For example, the Future Talents Day on Friday invited students to visit the trade fair. More than 600 young people took part in special events such as guided tours and networking sessions, learned about career prospects and came into direct contact with potential employers.

On all four days of the trade show, the Future Hub in Hall 11.0 was a central attraction for the professionals of tomorrow. Among other things, the Special Area functioned as a presentation area for companies with vacancies as well as educational institutions in the event industry. In addition, the show made a contribution to more gender equality in the event industry. To this end, Messe Frankfurt cooperated with the “Women in Lighting” initiative, offered information services for female talents and put the spotlight on the achievements of inspiring women in lighting trades. The conference program also took into account the topic of personnel development in times of high demand for skilled workers.

Another demanding task for the event industry is to find answers to the challenges posed by high energy prices. At the same time, customers are becoming increasingly aware of sustainable event technology and event organisation. In this context, new products and approaches that contribute to the careful use of natural resources gained additional relevance at Prolight + Sound. Every day, the Green Sessions on the Main Stage provided new impulses for reducing power consumption and for a more positive CO2 balance. There was also great demand for the guided tours to the stands of suppliers of particularly environmentally friendly solutions.

The Prolight + Sound supporting programme was developed in close cooperation with the Association of Media and Event Technology (VPLT) and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC).

Positive atmosphere  and plenty of reason to celebrate!

In the wake of rising exhibitor and visitor numbers, the event once again achieved high satisfaction ratings. 88 percent of exhibiting companies and 83 percent of visitors stated that they had achieved their goals at Prolight + Sound.

The halls were filled with buzzing activity – but also with emotional encounters between industry players, after numerous exhibitors and visitors, particularly from Asia, returned for the first time in four years. Moreover, after-show parties were once again part of the event. The industry took the opportunity to celebrate and toast to the drive for the future. In addition, live music by well-known bands created a festival atmosphere on the outdoor area. Thus, Prolight + Sound created the framework for networking in an informal atmosphere and made a contribution to strengthening a sense of connection and the “we” feeling in the industry.

Prolight + Sound 2024 will take place from 19 to 22 March. With the new date, Messe Frankfurt is responding to the industry’s wish for an earlier time slot in the year that is best aligned with the project cycles in the event and entertainment technology industry.

Prolight + Sound: The Global Entertainment Technology Show for Light, Audio, Stage, Media + Events. More information at www.prolight-sound.com.

As an international trade fair brand, Prolight + Sound is present with events in Germany, China and Dubai. More on the global activities at www.prolight-sound.com/worldwide.

Image source: Mathias Kutt.

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