Working Together For The Future Of Events And Entertainment: A Look Back At Prolight + Sound 2023

From April 25 to 28, 457 companies from 34 countries presented innovative solutions for spectacular events, impressive productions and special visitor experiences in Frankfurt am Main. Some of the highlights are summarized here.

Prolight + Sound 2023: Finally without restrictions again

For the first time since 2019, Prolight + Sound was able to take place without global travel restrictions. As a result, the show recorded a significant increase in terms of internationality: 56 percent of exhibitors came from outside Germany. In close cooperation with associations, companies and other partners, Prolight + Sound offered a program closely geared to the current challenges facing the industry. Experts from the industry were able to gain valuable insights into energy- and resource-saving events, personnel development in times of high demand for skilled workers and more gender equality in the event industry.

Every year at Prolight + Sound, top buyers, decision-makers, planners, users and interested newcomers meet the who's who of suppliers of professional event solutions. This year again, the spectrum of products and topics ranged from lighting and lasers to sound reinforcement, studio, projection and AV media technology. Particularly in the field of theater and stage technology, Prolight + Sound has developed into Europe's most important and comprehensive meeting place. The show further expanded its portfolio with new special areas dedicated to networked AV systems and moving image production. In addition, the importance of the audio sector as a mainstay of Prolight + Sound was underscored with advanced presentation and lecture formats on studio technology, music production, DJing and live sound.

"The event industry is recovering, and the confident underlying mood is being transferred to Prolight + Sound, which, together with the industry, is back on track for growth. Together with the industry, we are looking to the future - with a lot of positive energy, but also with respect for the tasks ahead. In solidarity with the industry, we are creating a place at Prolight + Sound where great ideas for the business of tomorrow are being generated. We are looking forward to four days full of innovative technologies and creative solutions. And we are especially looking forward to an emotional reunion with our colleagues in the global event industry," says Wolfgang Marzin, Chief Executive Officer, Messe Frankfurt.

Awakening enthusiasm - among the event professionals of today and tomorrow!

Demographic change is already having an impact on the personnel situation in the event industry. Against this background, topics such as recruiting and personnel development were more present at Prolight + Sound than ever before.

The Future Hub in Hall 11.0 bundled content of particular interest to newcomers to the industry. The area functioned as a meeting point between young talents and companies with vacancies as well as educational institutions in the event area. The Future Hub provided a presentation area for innovative start-ups.

In addition, Prolight + Sound invited school and university students to the Future Talents Day on Friday, April 28. The theme day offered a specialized range of lectures on career scenarios, networking events with exhibiting companies, behind-the-scenes tours and much more. A special highlight at Future Talents Day was the "Technology Live on Stage" event, where visitors experienced a complete event sequence in mini format. They also got an insight into the variety of jobs and trades that are necessary to make an event a success. The Association of Media and Event Technology (VPLT) was responsible for this format in cooperation with Adam Hall, d&b Audiotechnik, Lleyendecker, Neumann&Müller and the "Live in Hessen" network.

The event business is not a “Men’s World”!

Together with the initiative "Women in Lighting" (WIL), Prolight + Sound realized valuable impulses for more gender equality and new offers that put the merits of female professionals in the spotlight and motivate women to pursue a career in the event industry.

Talks with inspiring personalities took place daily on the Theatre + Light Stage in Hall 12.0. In addition, the Women in Lighting Lounge celebrated its premiere: It forms a meeting place for women in the lighting industry as well as interested newcomers, as a venue for interviews as well as a source of information about career scenarios. In addition, there are daily WIL meet-ups at the booth of Ayrton, entertainment lighting partner of Women in Lighting.

Greener events: Small steps for a big goal!

In recent years, awareness of the need for greater sustainability in the staging of events has grown significantly. In times of rising energy prices, the careful use of natural resources is becoming even more relevant. Prolight + Sound picks up on these developments and provides impetus for a more ecological event industry.

The European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) organized daily Green Sessions on the Main Stage in Hall 11.0, focusing not only on technological solutions for greater climate protection but also on social sustainability, environmentally friendly tour management and sustainability communication. Messe Frankfurt's Sustainability Board was also actively involved in the Prolight + Sound conference program. The aim was to provide an insight into how the company is meeting its social responsibility for greater sustainability and what steps have already been implemented.

In addition, exhibitors that contribute to climate protection and a more positive carbon footprint were specially marked, and Green Guided Tours were held to visit the booths of companies with particularly environmentally friendly solutions.

New Special Areas: Experience Trends, Expand Knowledge, Enjoy Moments

The innovative power of the entertainment technology industry is enormous. With new areas, Prolight + Sound reflected technological trends and continues to expand its exhibitor and visitor target groups.

A premiere at the event was the Future Walk: an interactive area with an experiential character that demonstrated the disruptive impact of networked AV media technology. The focus was on IP-based processes that will permanently change the industry in the coming years: from remote production to device-independent workflows and mixed reality. The company MakePro X was responsible for the area, together with other partners and exhibitors. Equally new was the Camera Hub, which provided a home at Prolight + Sound for products and topics related to moving image production. In cooperation with the Bundesverband der Fernsehkameraleute. e.V. (BVFK), it presented forward-looking camera and lighting technology and invited visitors to talks and workshops.

There was also a lot to experience in the audio sector. With the ProAudio College, Prolight + Sound and the Association of German Sound Engineers (VDT) offered a specialized training program for sound technicians in live and studio operations. Musicians and audio technicians also experienced a new type of stage concept on the Silent Stage in Hall 11.0. This showed how direct sound can be reduced on concert stages - for cleaner sound and less stress on the ear. The Performance + Production Hub was even more extensive than last year. It provided an insight into the future of music production, DJing, beatmaking, and digital live performing. In addition to Soundadd UG, the PRO MUSIK e.V. association acted as another partner of the area this year. As part of the cooperation, Prolight + Sound is increasingly integrating live music into the trade fair: Performances by well-known artists, for example, create more of an event atmosphere on the outdoor area.

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