The 15th edition of Music China attracted 1,909 exhibitors and 90,125 visitors to celebrate its anniversary and was an enormous success. The record-breaking 12% increase in visitor numbers, the growth in exhibitor numbers and the expanded exhibition space pointed out that Music China is a must-attend annual event in Asia for every person involved in the musical instrument industry.
Business discussion, knowledge sharing, music performance and appreciation filled every corner of the four-day show from 26 – 29 October held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Delighted with the show’s result, Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager for Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd commented: “Congratulations to the successful Music China 2016. The show started in 2002 and has been developing together with the industry ever since. Whether attendees are looking for business partners, buying instruments, launching products, gaining industry knowledge or just for fun, Music China is an all-encompassing platform that can accommodate their needs and it is still developing with great potential.”
An ideal marketing stage for branding
C. F. Martin & Co from the US is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year. They were presenting their three key brands to dealers and customers in separate booths and a special showcase of its signature Dreadnought guitar at the show. Ms Jacqueline Renner, President for the company spoke of the result: “We have a beautiful presence at Music China to represent our brands and to demonstrate our custom shop and the special aspects of what makes Martin’s artistry so unique. We hope more musicians in China can enjoy our high-quality guitars and here is a platform to reach existing and new business partners across every part of the country.”
Tremendous business opportunities in the Chinese market
Many of the exhibitors are attracted to Music China because of its penetration into the Chinese market. D’Addario & Company is one such company. Mr David Via, Vice President, International Business Development for D’Addario explained: “Our industry as a whole is not growing a lot when you look at it globally, and yet China is a vibrant market that continues to develop. We see it not only in the western music and instruments, we also see the resurgence of the eastern music and culture as well. At the show you can meet a variety of people and have the opportunity to really do business with the dealers, retailers, artists as well as the consumers in China. That’s the value of Music China in the 21st century.”
The presence of eastern traditional instruments is what makes Music China unique. One of the highlights in this sector is the invaluable zither showcased by Hong Kong Zheng Art. Mr Metric Mok, Director for the company was impressed with their first-time presence: “Our brand is new to the Chinese market and we are launching our products in this market at Music China. The show provided us a new and broad customer network not only from different cities in China such as Shanghai, Beijing, Anhui and Shenzhen, but also from Singapore and Taiwan. We only produce 80 zithers a year and all are made in Japan, basically our bookings are full. This is a great promotion opportunity for us.”
The flourishing music education market in China has created multiple business opportunities for the publishing sector. Ms Hilary Griffin, Sales Director for Faber Music from the UK explained how it benefits their business: “We are a publishing house for education books and materials for exams like ABRSM. Since the exam is in English, the English teaching materials are very much needed and our books can help people get through the exams. We met many teachers at the show, it certainly helps us to expand our business in the huge local market which is difficult to reach otherwise.”
An annual meeting for industry players from Asia and beyond
Salvi Harps from Italy was impressed with the broad buyer’s diversity at the show. Mr Vincenzo Scerbo, Sales and Marketing Representative of the company commented: “We came to Music China to launch our new product the DELTA. We have been coming to Music China for a decade, so we know how important the show has always been to us. With a huge visitor flow and international buyers flocking from all over the world, this is surely the perfect place to introduce a new product. Our new instrument is practically sold out, and the fair has created many new business leads for us.”
Buyers thrilled with product genres and observed new industry trends
Key industry brands, as well as long-standing international pavilions from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom have brought a wide spectrum of product categories to Music China, attracting a high-level of international and Chinese buyers to source and learn the latest industry development at the show.
Leading online retailer Amazon came with a musical instruments team representing China, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US, and. Mr Joe Franger, representing the US office explained their purpose of the trip: “We attended the Music China show to identify new selection for Amazon customers around the globe. Each country representative has specific targets but we share selection across marketplaces. Music China is a great place to explore and evaluate business partnerships which is necessary to place orders at a later date. ”
Fringe events revealed international perspectives of music education and industry development
The high-level industry forums held alongside the show were packed full of audience members who wanted to learn more about new business ideas and the evolving music education market from industry leaders.
Professor Lee Higgins, President of International Society of Music Education, Director of International Centre of Community Music, St John University from the UK spoke at the NAMM CMIA Industry Forum. He was invited to share his insights in the new social music education alliance and believed that such an event at Music China is important. He explained: “Music education events like these are critical to the music community, because you’re not going to sell anything without people playing. So having these discussions and critical thinking and examining what it means to play and what it means to participate is very important for the trade show.”
Audience members were deeply engaged in the Seminars of Technology and Innovation to learn the latest MIDI technology from industry leaders such as Apple and the MIDI Manufacturers Association. Mr Cheng Hui, Manager of TimeCode-Vision was one of the audience members and was satisfied with the seminar content. He said: “Our company is developing a new Bluetooth MIDI adaptor. What the speakers just said was inspiring for our R&D purpose. Bluetooth MIDI technology has been widely used in China, a seminar like this can help accelerate the technology development in this sector.”
A series of master classes on different music genres for kids, adults, amateurs and professionals were conducted under the Music China Education Programme. Mr Eric Levy shared his exceptional marching drum skills in his class and enjoyed the connections with the audience, he said: “There’s a good mix in the crowd, some of them are entry level and some of them are more advanced players and they are all very enthusiastic. I am glad I can help people to learn more ways to teach.”
Other fringe events included Global Forum on Chinese Traditional Music, All about Jazz and the Stringed and Bowed Instruments series programme. In addition, a series of live performances, entertainment and charity events were held at the show including Kids’ Music Castle and a charity campaign ‘Music Warms Our Hearts’ Care for Children with Autism, school-bands winners Aber Hallo! and The Ingredients from the SchoolJam Germany competition, Drum Circles, pCircle, plus hundreds of stars and celebrities’ performances onstage and at booths including Yamaha endorser Mr Maksim Mrvica.