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Musikmesse 2017: Numbers Down Slightly From Last Year, but Positive Reaction to Ongoing Restructuring

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • Show Report
• Created: May 11, 2017

Visitor numbers at this year’s Musikmesse and Pro-Light and Sound fell somewhat from last year’s total and remain significantly lower than 2013’s peak of 113,000.

The combined figures for this year’s shows (certified by FKM) saw 105,896 people through the doors, down on last year’s total which was only given as “almost 110,000.” Despite that slight recovery in numbers from 2015’s 108,409, as the show opened itself to the public, 2013 may well have been its peak year with 113,000. The organizer’s own exhibitor numbers matched last year’s exactly (2,043) but were down when compared to 2015 (2,257) and 2014 (2,242).

Despite the falling numbers it retains the support of its local trade bodies, however. “The Society of Music Merchants (SOMM) welcomes the comprehensive and ongoing restructuring initiated in 2016,” said SOMM business manager, Daniel Knöll. “Thanks to the new concept,

I am confident that we will be able to achieve a great deal. For German, European and international companies, Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound rank among the most important instruments for business- to-business communication.”

“We are very pleased with business at Musikmesse,” asserted Arthur Knopp, president of the Federation of German Music Dealers (GDM). “Footfall in the halls was high and the exhibition stands were busy. The Business Academy, which we took part in for the first time this year, is on the right track. In  a nutshell: the sector agrees with the changes made to Musikmesse.” Gerhard Meinl, chairman of the Federal Association of German Musical Instrument Manufacturers (BDMH), added: “Musikmesse in Frankfurt is a must for the German and European music industry, especially those from East Europe. We appreciate the high degree of internationality at the fair.”

Next year’s Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound will be held from April 11th-14th and from April 10th-13th, respectively.

Voices from the Show Floor

“It was a successful show for Hal Leonard, both in terms of our European customers and our customers from abroad. Sales at Messe were upsignificantly over 2016, across all product areas.

“This was the first year where we had multiple booths: our main print music booth, as well as a satellite booth in the audio and recording area and a satellite booth in the guitar and amps area. The satellite booths were there to support our distribution in Europe of Samson, Hartke, ZT Amps and other MI lines that we distribute.

“While overall traffic at Messe seemed flat with last year, we found that the show continues to be important to our business in Europe.”

Larry Morton, Hal Leonard

“The city of Frankfurt is booming but Messe is not. Still, despite shrinking attendance and fewer exhibitors over the past few years, we felt that the quality of visitors remained high. We were very satisfied with our results after not having attended for a few years, and we did business on every continent. Even with the growing prominence of Music China, we were surprised by the number of visitors that still come from Asia. The Public Day continues to be unpopular with many exhibitors including us. It’s a trade show. Bottom Line: With a European population of over half a billion, we continue to see Musikmesse as necessary and viable show.”

Terry Lewis, Players Music LLC

“I see this show as a tale of two cities; first, as a trade show, (and I am only speaking from two years experience in the MI but been going to trade shows for 30 years), I would say it isn’t very strong. Since I don’t have the history of the show, I am not sure why that is the case. I can guess though. You have NAMM in January, and everyone is there and you have Music China in October and that to me is the show of the near future. Many go, and soon, more and more will exhibit. The Musikmesse is getting lost and brands are choosing to spend their discretionary ad dollars elsewhere. Had we not had the continuation of our OPTIWEB launch we would not have had that type of presence.

“The second part is about the consumer admittance to the show. Now, in this case I thought it was pretty strong. We had a tremendous amount of them in our booth, but we also had an excellent presentation of Elixir, with entertainment. However, there is a limitation to the consumer as it is of course German centric. So, we are going to get a limited exposure to our brand and products just as we do on any consumer event.”

Lou DiPietro, Elixir Strings


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