For 3 days Horden Pavilion in Sydney was abuzz with hordes of people checking out the latest gear at Integrate 2010. Integrate is all about Sound, Light and Vision and what is new in those areas. The 2 halls had a variety of exhibitors present, but to my mind there seemed to be a leaning toward vision and conferencing systems. There also was a lot of audio on display and from brands that we are not necessarily familiar with. Staging and rigging was also represented. There was very little in comparison from lighting manufacturers. This event wasn’t necessarily aimed at the theatre market it was targeting the venues that are more focussed towards conferences, meetings etc. That is not to say that it was not a useful event to attend. There is more and more crossover of events than ever before. All of these technologies are being used in many different ways. So it is good to see what is out there and where it is all heading. And we must not forget Digital Signage – this was prevalent at this trade show.
The staging and rigging companies were a definite not to be missed. Good quality rigging and staging is paramount in our industry. A safe staging and rigging doubly so. So it was great to see what the various manufacturers and suppliers are offering. You could also compare the different bits and pieces, which is always handy to be able to make informed decisions. And let me tell you there is some pretty good stuff out there, it might cost a little bit more than the cheap eBay or Chinese stuff, but it is certainly better made and is of a safe standard. There also was a lot of safety gear on display as well, great to see. Some of the companies displaying were- Prolyte, Specialised Stage Engineering, Design Quintessence and Harris Movement Engineering.
The audio manufacturers were also well represented. There were some well known names and a few names that might have been a mystery to a lot of folks. There were audio products from such companies as EAW, KV2Audio, AT and dB Technologies to name a few. And pun intend the audio market is sounding good. There are is some very nice sounding gear out there that does not need an 8 tonne truck to haul it around. So bring back the Holden Panel van. There was also a great range of consoles to drool over or if you were cashed up it was out with the check book.
Jands and ULA also hand a range of lighting products present. ULA were showing of a large range of ROBE fittings including the new ROBIN 600E Spot, Wash and Beam fixtures. The also launched the high powered outdoor LED products from ROBE. They also were showing the Avolites Tiger Touch lighting consoles. Ying Wei were also displaying their new LED products. there was also a few GrandMA consoles on view as well. What was missing was some of the other lighting manufacturers, such as Strand, Selecon and LSC.
The AV market was very well represented. There was a proliferation of companies show mounting brackets, switching devices, LED screens, LCD screens and projectors. This seem to be the main emphasis of the trade show. Some of the equipment was pretty cool and the screen and projectors were displaying some amazing quality images. HD is really pretty good. The only thing that was really disappointing was the 3D demos, I was not impressed at all. I feel this technology still has a long way to go before it will be generally accepted. The one that had the most promise, the LCD shutter glasses, has one possibly big problem. They operate at about 100Hz and therefore I noticed substantial flicking when looking away from the screen at fluorescent lights etc. These also flicker and therefore it was very noticeable to the writer.
But the main thing most people might have attended the event was for all of the seminars and this year there were quite a few of them. There were sessions on a wide variety of topics,such as Digital Signage, Telepresence. ALIA ran lighting seminars, Hills SVL ran popular seminars over the 3 days. So there was a lot to be learnt from a variety of companies and organisation.
Overall it was a reasonable expo, but there did seem to be a variety of companies that did not show any of their wares. Is this a sign of the times still, or are they waiting for ENTECH. To the writer it is important for clients to be able to attend events like this so they can compare and see equipment all in one place, but if some of the major payers don’t show, is this going to help the consumer. I travelled from SA to see this event as we don’t often see this gear come over for demos, so it is really important that people from other states can get a hands on feel for this stuff. Searching and reading up on the internet is not the same as actually having a touchy, feely experience with the gear you are interested in. Now are companies likely to send samples and demo gear across to a remote location (SA or Perth) on the of chance of a sale? We might get a piece of gear for a demo and if it is not what we want who wears the cost for the freight. Whereas a trade show is a great place to at least chat to the companies and see what is on offer. Maybe next time there will be more.