Asia’s best known music event, Music China—held from October 10 to 13 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre—attracted a record number of exhibitors and visitors. The record-breaking four-day event featured 1,680 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions, all of them showing their products and technologies in eight halls of exhibition space. Visitors to the show numbered 68,621 from 86 countries and regions, a 14-percent increase compared to the previous year. Commenting on the show, Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager for Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., said, “Music China continues to grow in scale and popularity as it is recognized as an important event by the domestic and international musical instrument industry, because it reaches both the fast-growing Chinese market and other Asian countries.”
Music China is expanding rapidly, with 11 international pavilions this year: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan and the UK. Debuting at Music China, the Finnish pavilion brought together the country’s best sheet music publishers for exposure to an eager Chinese market. The Japanese pavilion was one of the largest pavilions, with a 39-percent increase in space. The Italian pavilion attracted dozens of participants.
The show featured countless thousands of instruments, making for numerous kid-in-a-candy-store moments for domestic and foreign attendees alike. A treat, as always, was the hall of traditional Chinese instruments—a Music China exclusive—where both seasoned players and inquiring minds can check out the sights and sounds of the Far East, and taste the flavor of musical history.
Music China was also supported by leading international brands, including Yamaha. Mamoru Fukuzawa, Assistant General Manager, Yamaha Music & Electronics (China), Japan, said, “Music China is one of the most important industry events that we take part in every year. Here, we can build up our connections with distributors, consumers and musicians, and also demonstrate our product’s uniqueness by using professional performers.”
American guitar brand Taylor Guitars was targeting young Chinese musicians. Andy Lund, Export Sales Manager for the company, commented, “We know there are a lot of young children in China that want to play guitar, so we have a very strong presence here.” Arriba Cases and its Director, Scott M. Davies, were also in attendance in China, showcasing some cool new products. Many of those Arriba Cases offerings will also be spotlighted at the upcoming NAMM show in Anaheim.
The show included educational programs that showcased live performances. At the NAMM CMIA Industry Forum event, industry leaders from different sectors discussed the correlation between musical instrument manufacturing, retailing and music. The two-day NAMM University Courses offered “How To” sessions covering retailing, brand building, piano after-sales service, case histories, team building and online business. Equally popular were the live indoor and outdoor events, which included DJ Champion Funk featuring DJ Angelo, SchoolJam champion band Goldmouth and Amadeus Guitar Duo. In addition, this year’s debut Music China Educational Program featured Japanese saxophone and flute player, arranger and composer Kaori Kobayashi. Speaking after her presentation, which included a live performance, she said, “I am amazed with the audience’s reaction. Chinese people are very passionate about music, which is why I came to the show. Although I cannot speak Chinese, music can connect all of us together.”
Held concurrently, Prolight+Sound Shanghai welcomed 444 leading brands from 17 countries and regions to showcase their products and technologies, marking a seven-percent increase from last year. The exhibition space covered three halls, totaling 35,000 square meters. 23,869 visitors helped power a 19-percent increase from 2012, encompassing attendees from 79 countries. Of these, 22,187 were domestic visitors, a 19-percent increase; an additional 1,682 were international visitors, an increase of 12 percent.
Next year, Music China will be held from October 8 to 11 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Music China is organized by the Chinese Musical Instrument Association, INTEX Shanghai and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. The show is a brand event of Musikmesse, which will be held March 12 to 15, 2014, in Frankfurt, Germany.