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Increased demand for music education during 18th edition of Music China

Oct 21, 2019

This year’s Music China was one for the books. It was the biggest edition so far, with 13 exhibition halls and more participating brands than ever before. 2,414 suppliers gathered on the fairground in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre and made it happen, while connecting to 122,519 visitors (an 11% increase compared to 2018, with 110,381 visitors). The organisers noted a clear increase in the interest for the music education category, with a number of new exhibitors from this industry segment joining the fair. Feedback from both sides was positive throughout the four exhibition days and visitors and exhibitors agreed on the fact that the quality of the show exceeded expectations. The events of this year’s fringe programme were received with a lot of enthusiasm, as they were able to build a bridge between knowledge, practical skills and not to forget: fun. Music lovers and industry professionals, the majority of the audience belonging to both categories, enjoyed the many live shows that took place from 10 to 13 October 2019.

With 145,000 sqm of exhibition space, the organisers made sure they had something in store for every buyer, visitor and music enthusiast that joined the show. 13 exhibition halls grouped instruments ranging from classical pianos to acoustic and electric guitars, but also oboes, trumpets, drum kits and any other musical instrument you can imagine.

11% visitor increase for 2019 edition of Music China
11% visitor increase for 2019 edition of Music China

Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, looks back on a successful 18th edition: “We’re always incredibly excited when a fair is about to start and the four exhibition days have flown by. It was our biggest edition so far, and I was happy to hear that the quality of the show was not in any way influenced by its growth. This years’ expansion was reflected by a number of product categories. Next to the increase in the gross area for the piano and bowed sectors, there’s clearly more interest in everything that has to do with music education. This category could be found in two halls (compared to only one in 2018), which allowed us to offer a variation of traditional as well as less conventional ways of learning how to play a musical instrument. We also responded to the increasing interest by focusing on music education in a number of fringe programme events.”

Music education category grows more popular
This section of the show welcomed a number of new exhibitors, while covering a larger area of exhibition space. For this industry segment, Music China did not just aim on facilitating business. It allowed teachers and students to exchange knowledge and information, while reaching out to fellow industry professionals and peers. Mr Holger Schulze, Secondary Teacher and Head of the Music Department at Deutsche Schule Shanghai, visited the fair together with a group of pupils: “This fair gives you so many options for exchanging knowledge with other musicians or traders. You can dive into a wide range of topics that are related to playing, studying or creating music. And it’s not only about musical instruments or publishing. If you’re interested in electronics, you’ll also find what you’re looking for. Music China can definitely play a role in the development of music education. The possibility to exchange experiences and talk about specific tools or methods of teaching is valuable for teachers like me.”

The fringe programme also touched the music education topic. The signature NAMM CMIA Forum and NAMM University Courses were – as always - very well received, and many visitors were able to participate in one of the hands-on workshops, like the Master Violin-Making Workshop or the Drum Circles. Ms Cathy Miller, Senior Vice President of West Music, looks back on one of the NAMM University Courses: “I’ve been with Music China for six years and I’m glad to see this show becoming bigger and bigger. It’s like it never stops growing! The fringe programme events are very important, because people don’t just do business here. We also share our knowledge and build our network, connect to each other. Music China functions as a bridge to gather music lovers and industry players. All the seats were taken during the University Course, and the audience was very engaged during the Q&A.”

Pianos and bowed instruments represent largest and growing categories
The 15% increase in the exhibition area for the pianos and bowed instruments was mainly caused by more interest from Chinese and overseas companies and European pavilions, such as Germany and Italy. The participating brands recognise the current potential of the Chinese market and foresee this to keep developing during the upcoming years. Mr Karl Schulze, Aufsichtsrat / Member of Supervisory Board at C. Bechstein, explains: “The market here is immense and it keeps on growing. Each year, 400,000 pianos are being produced worldwide. 300,000 of those are sold in China! I strongly believe the value of this market will build up over the next ten years. That’s why we believe this show to be much more important than those in Europe or the US.” Mr Stefan Freymuth, Vorstandsvorsitzender / CEO at C. Bechstein, adds: “Digital instruments have grown in importance and they will become stronger and better. Low-budget acoustic instruments will have to compete with them and in the end, I think their digital counterparts will gain the upper hand. But C. Bechstein focuses on high-class instruments and on quality, and this gives us the long-term advantage. We have a good market share in Europe, but we still want to grow in China and Asia. This fair can help us in doing so. Ultimately, that is why we’re here. At this moment, I think Music China is the most important fair in the world.”

Assistant General Manager of the Marketing Division at YAMAHA, Mr Yutaka Okada, also values the potential of the local, Chinese market, and explains how the brand has always had a good relationship with the show: “Yamaha is an old friend of Music China. We offer excellent music experiences through our instruments and sound, but we also commit to creating new value and proposing lifetime value by having closer ties with our customers. This year, we’ve set up four stages at our booth to showcase a new brand, which covers silent instruments, unmanned bands and AI technology piano accompaniment. China is our primary target market: 60% consists of audio-related instrument users, and 30% of musical instrument sellers and agents. The ever-expanding scale and high number of visitors drive us back to Music China every year. Because of the active Chinese market, the fair has more and broad prospects for development compared to other musical instrument exhibitions elsewhere.”

Strong representation of both local and international brands
Visitors could sample all kinds of equipment and accessories, together with sheet music, and one hall was completely dedicated to traditional Chinese instruments and their heritage. The fact that buyers can easily reach business partners from China and its surrounding places has always been one of the strong suits of the fair. Hap Kuffner, President of Kuffner International Inc, confirms: “It’s a 15-hour flight for me to get from the US to Shanghai, but it’s definitely worth it. I meet so many people here. Just today, I’ve arranged meetings with contacts from India and Turkey. It’s a great fair, because the whole of Asia is here and you can easily reach out to people and build your industry network.”

It’s only logical that the local market also offers numerous opportunities for domestic buyers. They come to Music China to tap into this potential and to connect with industry peers from overseas. Mr Su Shihong, Manager of QC Dept Guangzhou Hoshino Gakki Trading Co Ltd: “We are a music dealer. I came here mainly to search for guitar products and to meet with existing and potential partners. Music China is the most famous and largest musical instrument trade show in Asia. Many well-known brands in the guitar field, such as Taylor, Gibson, Ibanez and Martin, attended the fair. Some of them came here directly, instead of through their dealers, which provides a valuable opportunity for us to meet them face to face.”

The international character of the show was reflected by this year’s participating pavilions, represented by Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and the UK. Mr Aki Koyama, President of Last Guitar Inc, participated via the Japanese pavilion: “We’re a guitar shop based in Tokyo and this is the first time we take part in Music China. I’ve brought three of our guitar makers and want to show people the fantastic work they do. In the past, Japanese guitar lovers were keener on big brands, but now they are searching for handmade guitars produced by high-quality individual studios. I think the same will happen in the Chinese market, so I came here hoping to reach more guitar players and dealers from China and other countries. Music China is one of the most famous music trade fairs in the world. This kind of show helps us to accelerate our business development process, and I’m quite happy with the outcome. Our debut here is just the beginning, we’ll back next year.”

Mr Marco Salvi, President of Salvi Harps/LYON & Healy from Italy, also recognised the importance and potential of the Chinese market: “We’ve been attending Music China for many years, as it plays an extremely important role in the local development of our company. Many children and music lovers get to know the harp as a musical instrument for the first time during this fair. Our market is still small, but it’s growing steadily, thanks to the exposure and promotion we get here. Music China has become the one and only show in our global promotion plan and we also see our partners and customers shifting their focus to Shanghai. It’s a comprehensive platform that covers the whole supply chain and can help us broaden our channels.”

Bose is entering the musical instrument market and used Music China as a platform to do so. Mr Kevin Wang, Marketing Manager of Bose Electrical (Shanghai) Company Ltd, explains: “Bose is dedicated to professional audio for retail, the education market, restaurants and other sectors. Music China is an excellent platform for us to explore other instrument markets. We’ve received a lot of enquires from our customers. Individuals and group buyers placed orders and most importantly, there are many intentions for cooperation. Music China is a well-known musical instrument exhibition and the right choice for us to enter the instrument market. I am surprised by this show when I compare it to other fairs that I went to in the past. The visitor flow and scale are incredible.”

The overall atmosphere of the 2019 edition was buzzing with business on the inside, and music appreciation on the outside. With a number of competitions, the fair invited Jazz, Electronic Music and Electronic Dance Music talents to show their abilities. And the Music Lab was the right place to attend product roadshows or even discover new products during the Music China Global Product Launch. Next to that, visitors and exhibitors were able to enjoy the many live performances that took place throughout the four exhibition days.

The 19th edition of Music China will take place from Wednesday 28 – Saturday 31 October 2020. For more details, see www.musikmesse-china.com or email the show’s organisers at music@hongkong.messefrankfurt.com. More press information and photographic material can be found here: https://music-china.hk.messefrankfurt.com/shanghai/en/press/press-releases.html and https://music-china.hk.messefrankfurt.com/shanghai/en/press/photos.html

Other shows under the Musikmesse brand include:

Musikmesse

1 – 4 April 2020, Frankfurt

NAMM Musikmesse Russia

17 – 19 September 2020, Moscow

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,500 employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €718 million. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com.