Once again satisfying the needs of the industry, PRO 2015 was a successful show that saw big-name exhibitors, new feature areas and an expansive educational programme draw in a broad range of visitors from the performance and venue technology industry. Following this hugely positive second outing, organiser Marked Events will take exhibitor and visitor feedback into careful consideration as planning begins for PRO’s third show in 2016.
Earlier this month, PRO made a much-anticipated return to the NEC in Birmingham following its successful debut in 2014. Keeping the feature-rich show feeling fresh, this year saw the appearance of a brand new area called the FX Stage, which demonstrated live pyrotechnics and other special effects from Le Maitre and UK Events Group.
“Le Maitre was delighted to be at PRO this year,” said Elaine Peake, Head of Sales. “There was a real buzz all around the show, and the introduction of the FX Stage provided us with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate a wide variety of our latest pyro products, flames and low fog. We’ll definitely be looking forward to the show again next year.”
This year the combined visitor figures for PRO and BPM – the DJ and electronic music production event that is collocated with PRO – totalled over 9500. PRO attracted 4079 dedicated visitors as well as additional visitor traffic crossing over from BPM’s 5594-strong audience, which included venue owners and managers, event organisers, and music industry professionals, as well as students studying performance or music-related courses.
Impressed by the show’s varied visitor profile, Lee Brooks of headline sponsor Production Park said: “This year saw us intent on engaging with the whole of the industry, from grass roots to industry leaders, as part of our Production Park launch.” He added, “PRO 2015 delivered; creating a great networking platform and appealing to a wide and varied audience.”
The chance to engage with visitors out on the show floor was also a highlight for NEXO, its joint stand with Yamaha proved popular with attendees, as Sales Manager Gareth Collyer reiterated: “PRO was rather a landmark show for us, the first time that NEXO and Yamaha have exhibited together. We saw an encouraging number of high-quality prospects and many well-known industry faces, including most of the top-flight audio rental companies,” he said.
“The physical environment of PRO, which is spacious and relatively quiet, gave us the opportunity to talk and network in comfort, with good catering provision and communal meeting space in addition to our booth. Load-in and load-out is a piece of cake at the NEC! All in all, we think this is shaping up to become the premium UK show.”
While large numbers of visitors enjoyed speaking to brand representatives out on the exhibition floor, the 2015 show also included an expanded PRO Audio Demo Space and extended PRO Sessions learning programme. The latter of which played host to detailed discussion panels across PRO’s three days, including one with members of the technical team behind Take That’s seminal Live 2015 tour and another focusing on HOME, the new multi-faceted arts centre that opened in Manchester recently. There was also plenty of time to network in the CHAUVET Professional Central Bar, which for 2015 was made bigger and more stylish, while visitors on Sunday had chance to socialise on the AED stand, where the Hog Factor UK lightshow programming competition saw nine teams of aspiring lighting designers compete for a place in the European finals.
Looking to the future of PRO, Show Director Mark Walsh said: “It is an exciting journey we are on, and in an industry that is changing quickly it is important that the events we deliver reflect that. We are very pleased with the growth of PRO from our launch show last year to 2015’s significant event. The team now look forward to listening to feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike, before acting on this input to create an even bigger and better show for 2016.”
In order to ensure that PRO 2016 continues to build the future of the industry and meet the needs of visitors and exhibitors, Marked Events is asking all PRO 2015 attendees to complete a short feedback form: http://www.visitpro.co.uk/questionnaire.php.