‘We feel strong industry support’: PL+S director on decision to run in-person show

Prolight+Sound director Mira Wölfel has told Audio Media International that there is strong industry support behind the decision to run the show as an in-person event, despite the high-profile cancellation of other major trade shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scheduled to take place from April 13-16 2021, the Messe Frankfurt event intends to buck the trade show trend of either postponing until a later date or cancelling altogether and reinventing as a virtual affair. As it stand, all trade shows originally due to take place in the remainder of 2020 have been called off, while NAMM and ISE, set to take place in January and February 2021 respectively, have been forced to alter their plans. The former has opted to run a digital version of the show, while the latter has pushed its dates back to June in the hope that the pandemic situation has improved sufficiently for the event to take place in its usual form.

Prolight+Sound, however, is standing by its decision to proceed as planned, citing industry demand for a “presence event” as key to its decision making process.

“As a mirror of the industry, we react with our events according to the wishes and needs of our customers and partners,” Wölfel told AMI. “We always make important decisions in close cooperation with all relevant stakeholders – especially in these challenging times. We feel a strong support of associations, organisations and companies for Prolight + Sound as a presence event: they require a platform where the sector can meet face-to-face for the first time since the lockdown and present products under real-life conditions. Hardly any other industry has been and still is so hard hit by the crisis. In this context, the call for a new stimulation of business activity, to which a trade fair can make a decisive contribution, is very clearly heard in this industry. The strong support from the industry confirms our decision to proceed with full commitment in our planning for Prolight + Sound from 13 to 16 April 2021.”

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As for how the event will be able to run safely in light of COVID-19 concerns,  Wölfel was keen to reassure all visitors and exhibitors that it will be adhering to strict hygiene measures.

“Messe Frankfurt has developed a sophisticated protection and hygiene concept for holding trade fairs and congresses on the exhibition grounds,” she continued. “This has been agreed with the responsible authorities and can be flexibly adapted to any changes. Cornerstones of the concept include: a spacious hall design with a minimum of five-metre wide aisles, compliance with distance rules, including appropriate partitions and floor markings, clearly regulated ticketing with full registration, and more intensive cleaning as well as provision of adequate disinfection facilities. In addition, the halls will be continuously supplied with fresh air during the event. The safety of all those involved has top priority when participating in a trade fair – at the same time, we ensure that trade fair operations run as smoothly and successfully as possible.”