Итоги выставки Hi-Fi & High End Show 2017
Audio and video equipment producers release their new products during the year, but especially like to do it at the big trade shows or exhibitions. In Russia, most of the equipment is sold by distributors, and they try to introduce most of novelties at the Hi-Fi & High End Show that took place annually in the rooms and halls of the Aquarium hotel. People from all over the country come here: dealers plan to get some new High End components for their customers, installers seek for diverse and up-to-date solutions for their clients, and audio lovers hope to choose the system of their dream. This show is the essential part of the market integration. Today, when many things can be done online, live communications become especially valuable. Exhibitions are an ultimate marketing tool today and can be helpful for many purposes.
As usual, Hi-Fi, High End and home cinema equipment was demonstrated in the rooms of the hotel. There were systems built and tuned by one of the exponents in each room. Walking from one room to the other, a visitor could imagine themselves visiting different friends who recently installed a new stereo or home cinema system and decide which one is better.
Music on the go
People are getting more and more mobile now, and modern technologies help them to not to get apart with their favorite music at any situation. A new section of the exhibition – Portable Audio – was aimed to those who want to listen to high quality audio when traveling or just being outside. As the name implies, visitors could see and listen to headphones, headphone amps, players, portable speakers and accessories there, visit a number of seminars and conferences. Also all attendants could listen to the DJs playing their sets through wireless headsets. Mikhail Kutcherenko, veteran expert of High End market, led a conference “Portable sound evolution and marketing points of the headphones today”. In his introduction speech he told about technical and marketing challenges headphones developers and manufacturers face. Next report was held by Ulyana Mosunova, senior consultant of GFK-RUS market research institute. She told about sales trends of phones and gadgets in Russia. It was followed by an opinion exchange about headphones promotion strategies at the Russian market. Representatives of Blade Group, Etymotic, Focal, Denon, Bose, and Pioneer as well as an expert Valentin Petukhov (Wylsacom), to name a few, took part in it. Seminars of Portable Audio project were oriented mostly on the consumers – visitors learned more about choosing headphones or how some external devices can improve the sound of players and smartphones.
Vinyl is still very popular despite new streaming services growth and recent announcements of Hi-Res digital audio formats. Vinyl Show venue had something to offer for both generations of vinyl fans. Experienced collectors could buy turntable accessories, rare or new vinyl releases on the trade show section. And for the novices (and beyond) there were Vinyl School led by expert Victor Gorbatov. He told a lot about modern technologies and trends, shared useful tips, and answered listeners' questions.
Hi-Fi & High End Show focused mainly on end users – those who are going to buy the components separately and set it up in a system themselves. There are several other exhibitions of the professional area – home automation, system integration and installing services in Russia. To name a few - Hi-Tech Building and Integrated Systems Russia. However, many companies working in this field want to get in touch with the end customers. For that they took part in the Smart Install section showcasing audio and video home interior installations there.
This new exposition gained success for a simple reason. Any equipment change the look of the room and has to be at least set up and tuned unless it is portable. Therefore, an installer’s, an architect’s or designer’s services can be in demand here. Also, Smart Install project included a couple of educational events. Smart Design School was aimed to designers and architects, and The Installer's Day was dedicated to products and technologies of home cinema, automation, multiroom and many others.
Those who got tired of intensive listening to musical recordings could relax with live music shows by cover band Big City Jazz Show and Olesya Rostovskaya, Theremin virtuoso. Anyone could try their hand in playing this instrument under her supervision.
Best of the best
Winners of the TOP High End category of the Russian National Award PRODUCT OF THE YEAR were named and demonstrated at the Hi-Fi & High End Show. Experts from leading AV consumer media have selected the winners.
A bit of statistics
A number of trade visitors reached 6250, a third of which were retailers and wholesalers. The show gained significant interest of installation companies (27%) as well as related businesses – architectural and engineering companies and interior designers (12% in total). These figures prove the statement about Smart Install project success. End users' attention to the Hi-Fi & High End Show stayed about the same as in the previous year – 20865.
Statistics helps to measure reputation of the show. Its success testifies to a high level of its arrangement and organization. As for the benefits for the participants, it is hard to see them immediately – most likely they will become visible during the year or later. That's why most companies consider this exhibition one of the essential marketing tools. That is what they say about it:
Alan Davidson, Arcam:
“We are more than happy to be here. What is good about the show is that you are getting lots of people in a very short period of time exposed to the brand. But I always say to any customer that what they should do anyway is go back to the store to have a really good listen.”
Alan Gibb, Chord Electronics:
“This is my first visit to Moscow to do the show and I think the percentage of people that love music is probably higher in Russia than we have in the UK. Also the English customers are a little bit more interested in the technicalities of the equipment rather than how well it sounds. It is extremely easy now to find the information about the equipment you are interested in online, but the Internet cannot let you hear it. The event is a great chance to demonstrate our products and to tell people a little bit about our company, as well as answering to the multiple questions, often very sensible and intelligent.”
Boris Eshkind, DIGIS Group:
“Hi-Fi & High End Show is essential for a customer who is looking for a right system. In fact, a user buys an emotional experience, not an equipment. Different aspects of perception are important for making the final decision. In particular, Internet is a way to get the information about a product, and the exhibition – to get a feeling of it.”
Grigory Kanygin, T-Art:
“It is the main show for Russian Hi-Fi and High End market. The exhibition is very well organized and widely attended. Having participated in it multiple times we know who and for what will come. Most of our visitors are dealers who come to see our current product range, especially new models.”
Alexey Kalinin, Armada Sound:
“What does clearly distinguish the Show from the other events of this kind is that it is arranged by a professional fairs’ company – Midexpo. It provides wide and stable attendance. Today Hi-Fi & High End Show is even more visited than a Hi-Fi section of CES exhibition in Venetian hotel, which has lost a part of its popularity recently.”
Eduard Samsonov, Qvinta:
“For us, Hi-Fi & High End Show is one of the ways of the market exploring. We can get in touch with the end users here to learn their interests. This helps us to offer only well-demanded products to our dealers.”
Yury Gordeev, Next:
“We want to assure our vendors in making every possible effort to promote their products. Hi-Fi & High End Show is a great opportunity for that.”
Semyon Lyubimov, MMS Cinema:
“Taking a current economy state into account, we decided to draw visitors' attention to the most affordable solutions. For instance, we promote “Hi-Fi by Wi-Fi” technology using KEF LS50 Wireless speakers as an example. Not everyone knows that wireless transmitting high quality sound (up to 24bit/192kHz in this case) is possible. People come to our room, listen, get amazed, discuss the system…”
Vassily Kraev, Homesound:
“Many regional dealers come here to see our new products and to talk with us in person. So this show helps us to keep our partnerships alive.”
Evgeny Trofimov, Gong-AV:
“It looks like the visitors profile this year is relevant to our target group as never – thanks to the event marketing in social media and its advertisement on specialist web sites. Most of the people coming to our room had a good knowledge of High End and a clear idea of what they want to see. I believe that to be exactly how things should go in our niche.”
Julia Fedotkina, Bonanza:
“We really liked the new sections Midexpo has introduced following recent market demands - Portable Audio, Smart Install and Vinyl Show. We take an active part in all of them. And we will be happy to any results as they will be of use for our strategy for the next few years.”
Maxim Kocherov, Barnsly Sound Org.:
“Initially we were going to take part in Portable Audio section, as we got two new headphones brands last year. But of course, customers want to hear our home audio playing, and no other promotion means give them such a possibility. No one would choose Arcam, Elac or Monitor Audio products basing on a review in social networks. That is why we decided to showcase our home audio systems too despite all the economy challenges.”
Mikhail Gadetsky, Absolute Audio:
“Hi-Fi & High End Show gathers most of audio and home theatre companies in one place. It is of great use for both the participants and the visitors. Although the participation in the event requires a lot of energy and resources, at the end of each year we are happy with its results.”
Vladislav Babakin, Blade Group:
“We are here to meet end users first of all, and we are very happy to see people coming to our room, listening, bringing their own devices and content, learn about new models. It is difficult to calculate the effect, but we are definitely satisfied with the event.”
Alexander Urvanov, Simple Distribution:
“Here, we are achieving three goals simultaneously – to showcase our products to the end users, to communicate with the dealers and increase the visibility of our brand. Last year the show had a good impact on our business, especially regarding B2B contacts. So, we expect to excel this result this year, taking into account our brands pool growth.”