While China continues to fight back against its slowing economy with significant tax cuts and ambitious growth targets, a number of the country’s markets are still drawing more and more interest and investment from overseas – none more so than in the world of musical instrument (MI) trade.
The concept of China ‘opening up’ is that of an appealing one to the onlooking MI world, which holds the country in high regard when it comes to its unrivalled emphasis on instrument manufacturing and development, as well as its ability to nurture a culture around music education for young consumers. With those core values well-aligned with the international market’s development expectations, it’s no surprise that MI trade in China is going against the grain in terms of economic growth.
The global demand for accessing China’s MI developments has been prevalent for some time, perhaps most notably at one of the country’s most important music trade events – Music China. The show is approaching its 2019 edition in Shanghai, where over 2,300 domestic and international manufacturers, brands and suppliers will gather for the biggest music celebration of the year. An estimated 112,000 music enthusiasts will visit the four-day show, a figure which has climbed with each edition and is showing no signs of slowing down. It will also span 145,000 sqm across 13 halls, making it the largest ever edition in terms of scale.
The show covers every aspect of the MI supply chain, from electric, acoustic, bowed, woodwind and brass instruments, to keyboards, sheet music, traditional Chinese instruments, music education institutions and so much more. It’s also held concurrently with the Prolight + Sound Shanghai show at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, boosting footfall and promoting a crossover between the MI industry and the professional audio and lighting fields.
For overseas brands, the show serves as a platform to get a firm foot in the door of the Chinese market, and also offers an opportunity to access the most recent product innovations from all over the world. Previous editions have included exhibitors in the shape of ABRSM, Alfred, Alhambra, Armstrong, Bach, Bam, BG, Bluethner, Buffet, Casio, Conn, D’Addario, ESP, Fazioli, Fender, Gewa, Hal Leonard, Holton, Hsinghai, Ibanez, Jinbao, Kawai, King, Korg, Leblanc, LTD, Ludwig, Marshall, Martin, Medeli, Miyazawa, Muramatsu, Musser, Pearl River, Petrof, Roland, Saga, Salvi, Samick, Sankyo, Sauter, Schimmel, Schott Music, Seiko, Seiler, Selmer, Steingraeber, Steinway, Tama, Taylor, Yamaha and many more.
Mr Guifeng Huang, Retailer Leader of Steinway Piano Asia Pacific, speaks fondly of the company’s participation. He said: “The 2018 edition was the 17th time we exhibited in Music China, and for us the show is definitely a top MI industry trade fair and is actually the only industry event that we will participate in China. Apart from the top-level Chinese customers at the show, we found new leads from dealers from all across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.”
At the 2019 show, over 75% of exhibiting space has already been reserved, with a number of the industry’s most well-known brands enquiring about larger booth sizes. Many of these will be found in one of the 12 overseas pavilions situated inside the halls, allowing for easier navigation and more concentrated areas of internationality. This year’s dedicated pavilions will feature Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.
Away from the booths and their exhibitors at Music China, one of the most unique aspects of the show is its ability to converge business and communication with entertainment and variety. Exciting live performances and highly anticipated product demonstrations are littered both inside and outside the halls from a number of big-name stars during each edition, and even more value comes from one of the most comprehensive fringe programme schedules the industry has to offer.
Last year’s concurrent events alone, for example, included the renowned NAMM CMIA Forum and NAMM University Courses, as well as a number of sold out seminars and workshops for Chinese musical instruments, training courses for piano tuning, violin-making workshops, jazz competitions and participatory drum circles. More details about the 2019 fringe programme schedule, live performance highlights and product demonstrations will be announced closer to the show date.
Registration open for exhibitors
For interested exhibitors, booth applications for the 2019 edition of Music China are now open. Reserving a spot before 30 March will guarantee an early bird price, and allows more time for participants to enhance their booth space, plan their visit and capitalise on exhibiting at the most important event on the MI trade calendar. Exhibitor registration forms can be found here: bit.ly/2tWbAkZ
Music China will take place from Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 October 2019.
About 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 €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A 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. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).