Итоги выставки Hi-Fi & High End Show 2016
Every spring, following the awakening of nature, the Aquarium hotel is getting full of life. This year it was the 21st time when for four days it became similar to a buzzing hive rather than to a silent habitat of underwater creatures – as the name says. Naturally, sounds coming from the rooms were more diverse than just bees buzzing. Sweet, tuneful double bass playing jazz, explosions and shots from recent blockbusters and even barely audible chirps from the rooms dedicated to portable audio and headphones – all the sounds intermingled in a delicious cocktail for the ears.
Exhibition days were not formally divided to 'specialist' and 'public'. Naturally, the first two weekdays there were mostly professional visitors – dealers, installers, designers and others. And on the weekend the hotel’s hallways were packed with sound and video enthusiasts. The statistics says the same.
This event was attended by about 6800 professionals working in the field of Hi-Fi and Home Cinema hardware or services. Total number of visitors reached 20 780. While there is no sharp increase compared to the last year, the growth remains stable – every year brings 200-300 new attendants.
The exhibition was covered by all industry publications, including a number of media partners.
Some special expositions were to help visitors to find their way: Portable Audio, with high quality headphones, portable players and speakers; Smart Install, with built-in acoustics, multiroom and home cinema engineering; and Vinyl Show where one could also buy vinyl recordings and turntable accessories.
The four exhibition days were filled with workshops, lectures and presentations of new equipment. Professionals and end users could learn more about, for example, turntable and home cinema tuning. A fun feature of the show was a concert of a musician and a composer Odyssey Bogussevich, who was drawing the Vinyl Show visitors with his enigmatic music.
The exhibition is closely connected to another event – Product of the Year Russian National Award. Within the show the awarding ceremony of TOP High End category winners was held. The exhibition and the contest complement each other very well. Exhibitors of the HiFi & High End Show get feedback from the visitors, and TOP High End nominees in addition get a professional jury verdict. This award is considered more valuable than any published test because the decision here is made collectively. Some participants say, the exhibition and the Award together reveal all the market potential of a product. This essential experience can be applied to current models marketing or to creating new ones.
What they say
We asked the exhibitors about the reasons they are taking part for and the possibilities they get here. Some opinions were quite opposite to each other, especially the ones regarded to the visitor structure. But there is no mistake – each company got visitors relevant to their goals and expectations. The participants pursuing mostly educational goals drew a lot of Hi-Fi newbies, while the ones intended to establish more b2b contacts met more professionals. It becomes quite obvious from the comments:
Mikhail Gadetsky, Absolute Audio:
“Even for such city as Moscow an opportunity to showcase well-configured JBL Synthesis system to all our dealers and customers is quite unique. We expect a significant commercial effect from our participation in the event. Dealers bring their clients here and sales rise after each exhibition as a result. That encourages us to participate in this show every year and every time we wait for it in anticipation.”
Maxim Kocherov, Barnsly Sound Org.:
“We have been taking part in this exhibition since 1997, it is our 20th time. Our work here is primarily focused on our dealers. This time we have arranged private demonstration of some of our prospective products for them.
As regards the end users, I am glad that event attendance is growing, more people come, listen and get amazed with the sound. I notice an increase of interest in audio streaming and in good sound overall. And we have something to offer - new Monitor Audio Platinum series for instance.”
Alexandra Ivanova, A&T Trade:
“We decided to represent Sonos products at this show, because we believe that such solutions are highly demanded on the market now. Also we wanted to reveal the recently revamped version of Play:5 model to a wide audience.”
Kurt Chapman, International Sales Cambridge Audio:
“This Moscow exhibition is a great day for different brands to get together, it is a great celebration of High End music equipment. I think this show has more attendance than previous year and the crowd is much more receptive and people are interested in high quality sound. Personally I really like the idea to focus on the portable High End section because I believe that is the way the industry is moving. It does widen the audience, and the portable industry has matured and is growing up. People that listen to high quality Hi-Fi now want to have a portable device with very good quality sound as well. They no longer happy with buying a cheap stereo replacement; they want to have best quality they can get. The technology is getting much smarter and the quality improving year after year.”
Wataru Saegusa, sales executive EMEA JVC:
“Firstly of course I should note the environment - these individual rooms are actually better for the home theater than the big booths, so you don't have shout-out sounds here. It helps our customers to concentrate on the quality so they can hear real surround sound. Compared to other shows – well, maybe CEDIA or IFA have more visitors, but here there are more professionals and local dealers and installers.”
Alexey Kalinin, CEO, Armada Sound:
“Our goal as a distributor is to bring the end customers’ and the dealers’ attention to our products. Of course, we spend a lot of effort to hold this event on a high level. But it always pays off. We can feel an obvious effect: the system we show here is usually sold within two following months. And it happens every year.
In my opinion, this year exhibition is a success. I am pretty satisfied with the number of visitors, and as you see, number of participants is also high. The overall management of the event is on a very good level too – bravo, Midexpo!”
Harrison Lee, LG Electronics:
“The idea of using small hotel rooms for the exhibition seemed to me strange at first impression. But now I understand the point. You can make a better place for visitors to check the sound and picture quality without interference with other brand or product. If we had an open place, the sound of every exhibitor would interfere with each other, and everything would become a complete mess. So I like this conception very much. Our LED projectors that we brought here need a small room, not the huge space like on IFA in Berlin or CES in Las Vegas. Also I am very impressed with the level of technical knowledge of the people here in Russia.”
Stanislav Bogatyryov, audio category manager, Harman:
“First of all we want to introduce the products which are very new for Russia. That is interesting that collaborating with our dealers we got a chance to participate in several expositions instead of just one. For example, we demonstrate Dolby Atmos home cinema system in cooperation with Absolute Audio company.”
Vasily Kraev, HomeSound:
“I consider this exhibition as the only local event of its kind worthy of attention. In fact, there are some similar shows taking place in Moscow, some of them are even better targeted. But no exhibition can compare to HiFi & High End Show in terms of attendance.”
Alexander Sarulis, Marus:
“We hope that HiFi & High End Show will help us to restore the Triangle brand recognition after its slight decrease in Russia in the last few years. We have been distributing it for about a year and are very glad that many visitors still remember this name.
I have never taken part in such show in Russia before, so I would like to note a very peaceful and friendly atmosphere here in comparison with the atmosphere of competition at such events abroad.”
Alexey Shashenkov, head of MMS Cinema subdivision:
“Everyone is aware that during a recession the market is shrinking – we cannot change it. Therefore it is twice more important now to be presented at this exhibition. Participating in the show is an equivalent of presence on the market for a company.”
Sergey Svitenko, CEO, Nota+:
“Our company is both a distributor and a retailer, and this exhibition helps us to achieve several goals simultaneously. First of all - to show our financial stability to the dealers. It is also important that our vendors can see and value our efforts of promoting their brands on the Russian market. And of course, it is a great chance to acquire more end customers.
Nota+ has at its disposal a very wide range of products to build a well-sounding system, but this time we paid a lot of attention to how the system looks, too. This event is a show in the end, so why not to attract people?”
Evgeny Zemskov, OPPO Digital:
“This exhibition is the largest of its kind in Russia. Being the oldest and the most famous, it draws a lot of visitors. On our estimate the ratio of end users and professionals (dealers, installers) visiting the show is 8 to 2. This year we had to bring more product samples here so that everyone has a chance to listen to them.”
Sergey Vershinin, Overton Distribution:
“Participation in such a trade fair is essential for our business. It is a place we can show our solutions to the wide audience and get feedback from the end users. We can learn more about their tastes. The audience interested in vinyl and tube equipment is known very well, but an image of a wider consumer is still quite vague for the most in this industry. Also the exhibition gives an idea of the latest market trends. For example, now I see the balance between 'comfort' and 'quality' shifting to 'comfort' in the minds of sound enthusiasts. Music lovers look for the new ways of interacting with devices – now they use Bluetooth, smartphones, headphones, computers etc. And we can find appropriate solutions to offer them.”
Igor Popov, director, Qvinta:
“For us, this show is a great chance to present to the customers our well sounding systems thoroughly put together. The shops salesmen are not always qualified enough to do this. We see that not all end consumers have enough awareness and experience, so we are here to bring the culture of the “right” sound and to provide comprehensive information about our products.”
Felix Skakun, PR-manager, Russian Game:
“It is our 20th time at this event. Although our dealers come here, we understand that this exhibition is generally for consumers and we designed our exposition to be interesting for them first of all. For instance, the Magnat THX 5.1.4 home cinema set with Dolby Atmos is presented in two versions – with upward-firing and with ceiling mounted speakers. The prospective buyers can compare various setups and choose the best for them. Another example: for visitors who do not accept “audiophile” recordings and prefer rock music, we have prepared a pair of Martin Logan speakers - not electrostatic ones (which are usually associated with this brand), but more affordable speakers based on traditional drivers with Heil transducer at the high frequency section.”
Alexander Economov, director, Techno-M:
“Few visitors come here accidently, most of them are real enthusiasts. I know many of them by sight. And they share their impressions everywhere – on the Web, in the media, with friends. So the information spreads just like circles on water. The feedback about our products we can get on the Hi-Fi & High End Show is very important to us, both positive and negative. Not always the visitors say something. The time they spend listening to the system in our booth is a reliable indicator itself.”