NEWS Musikmesse & Prolight + Sound Continue to Evolve O ver 90,000 visitors from 152 countries made their way to Frankfurt, Germany for the 2018 editions of the Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound trade fairs and conferences from April 10-14, 2018. The reintroduction of days reserved for trade visitors resulted in a decline in the number of private visitors from Germany, which organizers had antic- ipated. On the other hand, there was a 10 per cent increase in the share of trade visitors and more visitors from outside Germany, which organizers say resulted in a seven per cent increase in the level of exhibitor satisfaction. The complementary program of events was more varied and wide-rang- ing this year, with over 1,000 events at the Exhibition Centre, from concerts and instrument workshops to professional development programs for retail- ers, event technicians, and teachers to music instruction for children. In the Musikmesse exhibition halls, numerous musical instrument companies used the fair to launch their latest products into the international market. Throughout the nine halls, visitors found all the latest music products and technologies, including many that exemplified this year’s trends, such as hybrid products that combine the playing experience of traditional instru- ments with the flexibility of digital sound production and more instruments 10 CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE that integrate mobile devices. Organizers say there was still a lot of demand for traditional instruments, as exemplified by the new World of Vintage Guitars special show. For 2019, Messe Frankfurt says it is fulfilling a wish it has commonly heard from exhibitors for the two fairs to be held in parallel for all four days, unlike this year where they overlapped for three days and each had an exclusive day. As such, Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound will both be held from April 2-5, 2019. The Musikmesse Festival will enter a new phase and enjoy a five-day run, which is day longer than this year. Additionally, the overall musical experi- ence on Friday and Saturday will be supplemented by a new presentation area. “We want to continue offering music fans an attractive music and mu- sic-making program on the Friday and Saturday. To this end, we will develop an event concept with thematic focal points, such as vintage, entertainment, and lifestyle, in cooperation with our exhibitors, retailers, and partners,” says Michael Biwer, group show director of the Entertainment, Media, and Cre- ative Industries Business Unit of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition. For more information, go to www.musikmesse.com.