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“Exchange is extremely important for the entire industry”: Strong support for digital Prolight + Sound BIZLounge on April 13

8 Apr 2021

The international event industry stands united. This is the message that Messe Frankfurt, together with numerous associations and organisations, aims to send out at the first Prolight + Sound BIZLounge on 13 April 2021. The digital streaming format offers opportunities to exchange views on burning issues such as a possible industry restart, sustainable events, challenges in education and the effects of Brexit. During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to pose their questions to the speakers and panellists. The full-day programme will be held entirely in English - registration is free at www.prolight-sound.com/bizlounge.

"Despite the cancellation of Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt due to corona, it is our ambition to create a space for discussions, to set impulses and to communicate approaches to solutions. The overwhelming support from the industry makes us very proud. With the BIZLounge, we are giving the starting signal for the road to Prolight + Sound 2022 and would like to contribute our part for a promising future of the event economy", says Mira Wölfel, Director Prolight + Sound.

The programme starts at 10 a.m. CEST with a discussion round on perspectives and possible scenarios for an economically viable restart of event operations. Representatives of the associations and institutions organised in the "Forum Event Industry", BDKV, BVVS, EVVC, i.s.d.v., as well as from the US-based association NAMM and the Dutch crowd management agency Phase 01, will be present. "Even if we cannot meet in person in Frankfurt, the joint exchange is extremely important for the entire industry. We are looking forward to bringing in the venues' perspective, from small community centres to large arenas," says Timo Feuerbach, Managing Director of the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC).

This will be followed (11 a.m.) by a presentation and discussion on the consequences of the UK's exit from the EU with the participation of the VPLT and the international associations PLASA and PEARLE. “Post Brexit, we sense a high level of uncertainty for the industry, particularly regarding the movement of goods and people. The impact on costs and time will severely affect how we operate in the future, making the whole process much more cumbersome. We appreciate Prolight + Sound BIZLounge as an opportunity to provide a look at what topics are up front for our business and what companies need to consider”, says Peter Heath, Managing Director, PLASA.

Another key topic at Prolight + Sound is sustainability in the event industry. At 12 p.m., representatives of the EVVC as well as RAI Amsterdam and the European Music Council will shed light on the question of what the trend towards green events will have in the future. At 1 p.m., the theatre technology societies from Germany and Austria will give an overview of the consequences of the new Ecodesign Directive on the use of light sources in theatres and venues. „Sustainability is a desirable goal, as all of us want to contribute to a liveable planet for the next generations. While the strict regulations contribute to reduce the carbon footprint, they also need to respect socio-economic requirements. We will address this complex topic at Prolight + Sound BIZLounge – which milestones were achieved recently and what are the upcoming topics”, says Christian Allabauer, head of the lighting department, OETHG.

Not only for long-standing industry experts does the current crisis raise many questions. Particularly newcomers who are currently studying or in training often look towards the future with uncertainty. How are educational institutions responding to these challenges? The VPLT will be examining this question together with representatives from renowned universities at 2 pm. "Without excellent professionals, contemporary events are inconceivable. Even if hardly any large events can take place at present, all skills must be imparted to the professionals of tomorrow - this forces universities and training companies to rethink. I am looking forward to a valuable exchange on this topic at the Prolight + Sound BIZLounge," says Randell Greenlee, Head of Politics & International, VPLT.

A festive highlight of the event will be the presentation of two renowned industry awards from 3 p.m.. This year's "Sinus - Systems Integration Award" honours the "Osram - World of Light" in Munich. The winning project of the "Opus - German Stage Award" is the production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletto" at the Seebühne Bregenz. Director Philipp Stölzel himself will give a short speech on the project during the event. At the end of the Prolight + Sound BIZLounge, participants will hear important information about funding programmes in the theatre industry in a speech by Sanela Kolb (DTHG).

All details about the topics and speakers are accessible at www.prolight-sound.com/bizlounge.

The next Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt will open from 26 to 29 April 2022. Further information at www.prolight-sound.com.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Messe Frankfurt Group employs around 2,500* people in a total of 30 subsidiaries. The company generated annual sales of approximately €250* million in 2020, following sales of €738 million in 2019. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. 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. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. 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

* preliminary figures 2020