Music China 2009 Final Report
Music China, Asia's largest international music show once again attracted thousands of local and international visitors when it was held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from 13 -16 October 2009.The four day show was packed full of exhibitors showcasing a broad mix of musical instruments and accessories, live concerts and educational seminars.
"The show was a huge success," said Mr Evan Sha, Deputy General Manager, Messe Frankfurt Shanghai Co Ltd."However, in line with the current global economy our visitor numbers were 1.7% lower than last year and those who did attend the show were very happy with the exhibitor quality and high standard of our fringe program events."
This year Music China hosted nine national pavilions from Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.
Ms Veronique Noury, Project Manager for UBI, organiser of the French Pavilion said that 28 French companies, five more than last year, took part in the pavilion."Our exhibitors come here to find new contacts, build up business contacts and to make their products known to the Chinese market.They are very happy and some of them have received orders for all the materials being shown at their booth."
The Scandinavian Pavilion represented music interests from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.Mr Odd Sneeggen from Svensk Musik, the Swedish Information Centre explained: "We are here because the Chinese market is exciting so we will see what kind of possibilities there are.We know that the big publishing houses have been here for six to seven years and we thought that if they are here there should be something for us here too. There is a big interest in big band and piano music and we have some big orders."
As Asia Pacific's foremost music industry show, Music China attracts the biggest brand names such as AXL, Hsinghai, KHS, Pearl River, Roland, Steinway, Warwick and Yamaha.This year many exhibitors reported that buyers were showing more interest in quality products than at previous shows.
Ms Lisa Zhu, China General Manager for AXL, distributors for Fender, PRS and ESP electric guitars commented: "Buyers are looking for good quality products with a brand name so the economic recession is not too bad for our company as we still have a steady sales increase this year.We have a lot of new products and there is much interest in our limited edition guitars, seen for the first time in China."
German piano maker Julius Bl√šthner Pianofortefabrik GmbH also agreed with the trend towards better quality."We are seeing more demand for high end products than last year so it looks like the market is still developing in the right direction," said company President, Dr Christian Bl√šthner-Haessler.He also believes that Music China is the most professionally organised MI show in China."This is the platform to use and if you are not here, then you are not in the market," he added.
Exhibiting for the sixth year, Spanish guitar maker, Mr Manuel Rodriguez Jr from Guitarras Manuel Rodriguez and Sons, S.L. said: "We are seeing that people are buying more expensive instruments than in the past, especially people from China and other Asian countries.That's a good signal for the economy and the music industry."At the show, his company introduced their new ecological guitar to the Chinese market."I think our industry must go forward to use woods that protect our environment," Mr Rodriguez explained."When we cut the wood for our ecological guitars, another tree is planted at the same time."
Mr Nicolas Jouvenceau, General Manager of Warwick Music Equipment Trading (Shanghai) Co Ltd also confirmed the buyer trend towards quality. "We see that buyers are a little more optimistic than they used to be at the end of last year so it looks positive," he explained."They are still looking for cost effective options with the economic crisis just behind us, but there is still demand for higher quality products."
Visitors praise high standard of exhibitors
Mr Michael Hillman, Vice President, Global Sourcing and Purchasing for US company Fender, a regular visitor to Music China, sourcing musical instrument products and amplifiers was impressed with this year's show."The show has been very productive and the quality of exhibitors is very good.We have meetings with some of our current suppliers.We also met a lot of potential suppliers and we picked four or five to visit after the show."
Mr Claudio Formisano, President of DISMA Musica which represents 80 per cent of the Italian musical instrument market also praised the exhibitor standard.He said: "Music China is absolutely one of the most important fairs in the world.Every year I can see better quality, better booth and better quality instruments."
As well as trade buyers, Music China attracts local teachers and university staff.Mr Geng Cheng, Senior Tuner from Shandong University of Technology, School of Music said: "I come to visit this show every year and I found the products are of very high quality and variety."
Educational seminars and daily music events draw large attendance
During Music China, NAMM, the trade association for the international music products industry, organised its NAMM University sessions which were attended by more than 1,100 people, a 15 per cent increase from 2008.This year's NAMM "big issues" panel discussed "The State and Future Trends in MI Retailing."NAMM also conducted eight "how to" sessions taught by leading Chinese retailers and distributors, covering topics such as how to expand a retail operation and manage a MI chain store.
"We're very pleased with this year's program," commented Ms Betty Heywood, Director of International Affairs of NAMM. "Both the panel discussion and the 'how to' sessions were very successful, which is reflected not only in increased attendance, but also in the attentiveness of the participants, and the lively discussions after each session. The fact that the sessions were held by leading Chinese and overseas retailers also show that peer-to-peer sharing of best practices is becoming accepted in China and that's a sign of a market in the process of maturing which is good for every player in the market."
Other seminars included the CMIA Retailer Forum, the Principal Forum and MIDIFEST.
Music China also offered outdoor and indoor entertainment for all music tastes with local and international artists entertaining with folk, jazz, blues, rock 'and classical music.The line-up included:
* Guitarists, bassist and keyboarder: Michael Pagaard, Tonni Jensen, TM Stevens, Jonas Hellborg and Steve McNally
* Japanese artists Eric Miyashiro (trumpet player), Hiroyuki Noritake (drummer), Yasuya Tomioka (Electone player) and Araiz (Latin percussionist)
* Chinese Folk Concerts
* Drum Circles, facilitated by Kumi Masunaga
* Robots' Hip-Hop Show
* Rock 'n' Roll by Line 6 Beauty Lv
* Guitar Quartet by Sichuan Conservatory of Music
* Lance Reegan Diehl Rock The Stage
* and more