Music China hailed a success with strong turn-out of exhibitors and visitors
Music China, Asia Pacific’s leading music event, ended on a positive note with the recording breaking number of participants reaffirming the fair’s position as the professional choice for reaching the burgeoning Asian market. The show was held from 11 – 14 October at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai China. Filling 86,500 sqm of exhibition space were 1,606 suppliers of musical instruments and related products from 30 countries and regions, including 11 pavilions representing Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the largest ever visitor numbers, Mr Evan Sha, General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd said: "This year we attracted 60,172 visitors from around the world who can depend on Music China’s offerings of high quality products and unique networking opportunities to further their business objectives. They also had the chance to learn more about the industry through our comprehensive fringe programmes, as well as being entertained by live demonstrations and indoor and outdoor concerts."
60,172 visitors attended Music China 2012, a 15 per cent increase from 2011. Visitors came from 82 countries and regions – primarily from China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Germany.
Show offered a vibrant platform for the industry to reach Asian market
Acknowledging the fast growing Asian market potential, many of Music China’s international and leading manufacturers have shifted their attention to this region, especially to the massive Chinese market. Owner of Trabucchi, Mr Stefano Trabucchi, said: "Asia, including China is our main market because Asian people enjoy everything about music and they love our instruments. We met many of our Asian customers from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand. This is an important show for us."
Mr Jorge Julia Anduix, Sales Manager for Spanish company Alhambra SL shared the same sentiment: "As the market is gradually moving from western countries to Asia, Music China is an essential tool whenever you need to develop new market," he commented.
Renowned brand Roland exhibited to explore both Asian and new markets. Mr Ken Ryo from Roland Shanghai Electronics Co Ltd said: "Industry people focus now on Asia, an important growing market. I am glad to see more professional buyers attending the show this year as it is an influential event in Asia, even in the world."
Many companies wanted to further expand their business in China. Ms Hilde Holbaek-Hanssen, Senior Advisor for the Music Information Centre Norway at the Scandinavian pavilion explained: "We are hoping to widen our contacts in China. We already have some good ones but want to further strengthen our business relationships and get new leads as well. Here we have got in touch with Chinese dealers and agents. These are important connections to reach the big Chinese market."
The increasing spending power of Chinese consumers is another attraction for European and high-end instrument producers. Commenting on the Chinese market, Ms Zuzana Ceralova Petrofova, President of Petrof Spol s.r.o. said: "I can see a big demand from Chinese people for European instruments. They appreciate the brand and quality even at high cost."
Mr Kazu Miyazawa, President for Miyazawa Flutes Manufacturing Co Ltd from Japan which produces high-quality flutes commented: "Our flutes target the high-end market and cost at least USD 3,000-4,000 each and we’ve already sold two flutes here which is beyond our expectation. The quality of Chinese musicians has been growing in the last ten years. They are looking for quality and I think Music China absolutely helps to promote our brand to the local market."
There was also strong interest in music publishing. Mr Douglas E. Lady, Senior Vice President of leading US music publisher, Hal Leonard Corporation, said: "We have seen more people interested in rock, jazz, and instruments and we brought a wide selection of our publications to the show. I think Music China is becoming one of the prominent trade fairs for the musical instrument industry in the world."
The ukulele instrument is fairly new to the Chinese market and manufacturers such as Kuan Chou Chen Enterprise from Taiwan use Music China to penetrate this largely untapped market. Ms Joyce Lai, Manager for the company commented "We are here to introduce the ukulele to the unsaturated market in China and to find business partnerships with local buyers and distributors. We are glad to have received many enquiries from Chinese buyers during the show."
Visitors focus on quality and variety
Thousands of visitors from around the world attended Music China to find a variety of quality products. With an increasing number of music lovers and the growing demand for quality in China, many local buyers came to source European instruments, including Mr Taizhong Chen, General Manager for Yancheng Do-Re-Me Music Store. "Our store sells Chinese zither, saxophone, string, wind and wood wind instruments," he explained. "I am looking for new products and I am pleased to find clarinets from a French producer."
International buyers were equally impressed with the variety of suppliers and products on offer. Ms Luisa Willsher, Sales Manager for Mdinator Wood for Music from Spain came to find musical wood instruments and said: "The show is a great help for sourcing. I am here to visit important suppliers from Asia and new suppliers. I am also meeting clients who won’t go to other places but Music China."
Mr Ryan West, Senior Vice President for West Music from the US visits the show every year looking for new products, to meet with international suppliers and to make new connections. "This show is a great opportunity to find a strong trading partner which can help our business growth," he commented.
Non-stop fringe events encouraged industry knowledge and music culture
Hundreds of fringe events were held during the four-day Music China, including NAMM CMIA Industry Forum and the NAMM How To…Sessions.
Following last year’s success, the NAMM CMIA Industry Forum continued to receive positive feedback from attendees this year. Mr Ian Harvey, Executive Director of Australian Commercial and Entertainment Technologies Association revealed the importance of having music making promotion days in the forum. He noted: "I hope the audience believe that the idea of a National Music Day might help support the growth of music making in China. They can learn some examples to follow from my presentation. I expect we will hear more about a National Music Day taking place in China at some time in the future."
Another highlight event was the NAMM University Courses. One of the speakers, Mr Maoqiang Huang, President of Sub-Committee for Music Retailers of China Musical Instrument Association gave a presentation about strategic positioning for music stores in China. "The Chinese government is actively promoting cultural sector development in the country, and this is a great business opportunity that we should not miss," he commented. "For success, business, retailers should develop business strategies alongside government policies, together with a clear positioning of target customer groups, and be able to provide innovative products."
Audience attendee Mr Ling Yuan, Director of Xue Lin Ya Yuan Arts Training Center found the topic highly relevant. He said: "The session was very informative and related to my training center. I am able to get good advice from the speaker."
Running concurrently with the informative forums was a programme of entertainment events covering a variety of music genres such as rock, jazz, folk, heavy metal, pop and classical music.
The interactive Drum Circles, facilitated by Mr Takeshi Ishikawa offered a unique opportunity for players of all ages to explore all kinds of musical and rhythm expressions through percussion instruments. Taking part in this event was Mr Fabbrizio Pigliucci, soundtrack composer and orchestrator from Italy. He commented: "I enjoy this event very much as it brings people from different background to play music together. Mr Ishikawa is very good at encouraging people. With his help, the players can understand that music is a common language of all people."
Music China is the regional Asian brand event of Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany which will be held 10 –13 April 2013. For more information about the Musikmesse fairs, please visit www.musikmesse.com
The next Music China is scheduled for 10 –13 October 2013 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. For more information please visit www.musikmesse-china.com