In a conversation with EVENTFAQS, Anil Chopra, Managing Director, Diversified Communications India discusses this year's edition of the PALM Expo and its future.
Since its inception, how have the PALM and Musician Expo grown?
The PALM started in 2001 with a focus on music production aimed at the sound engineers and sound recording studios. It has grown in the past 11 years, featuring the stage sound + light delivery in toto. The rental companies as well as event organisers who need to get up to speed on exactly what is state-of-the art in stage sound and light are at the PALM to evaluate the latest techniques and innovations. The PALM has become important enough for the manufacturers to ensure they are present in India with their products at the PALM since the Indian market is growing steadily.
The Musician Expo is now a standalone show in Hall 5 with independent registration. This growth is due to the fact so many musicians are indeed quite savvy about the sound they record and along with the concept of project studios. The Musician Expo is the largest display of international brands of musical instruments, and the thousands of musicians who gather at the PALM continue to grow the show.
Please elaborate on the new developments this year.
The theme of the PALM 2012 is to ‘Become Better'. This year, the developments are a conference, the Innovation Spotlight - Product technology feature, DJ taster course and competition, and a Line Array Demo.
This year, we've built a strong conference at the PALM. We have involved the industry expertise and talent in a three-day conference programme that covers music production and sound-reinforcement, soundtrack as well as lighting, and sound engineering careers as well. Great speakers we all can be proud of actually - whose talent has moved mountains if you ask me, since India was really behind in the technology chain a few decades ago and yet some really great music is produced - people like Daman Sood, Mujib and Shantanu and all of these speakers are part of the PALM family. The PALM Conference is a major development this year.
Innovation Spotlight - Product technology feature
The Innovation Spotlight is a striking feature at the PALM, where we've studied all the product launches in the past year and showcased 28 select products that figure in our innovation spotlight. This feature too is really meaningful, like the Conference.
DJ taster course and competition
The DJ taster course and competition is another major development at PALM 2012. Again, our attempt is to build value for future talent. The tremendous surge in event organising which has traction now in all towns is the demand for professional DJs and the DJ community is attracted to the PALM to familiarise themselves with the entire sound chain from creation to recording to play and performance. The aspirants are present in large numbers and the future of the industry is nurtured at the PALM show. Five to seven years ago, visitors came to the PALM as a pilgrimage where they decided to make a career in the event industry and today, they are achievers. The DJ Taster course, the Sennhieser live mixing workshops and the workshops at the laser lighting demo are all learning opportunities for talent.
The DJ competition, sponsored by Numark for prizes, is another major development. This year, we have scores of entries from contesting DJs; we have an elimination round and the finals at the PALM. It's great I think, that the PALM is ground zero for the DJ community now.
Line Array Demo
We have a demo of line array speaker systems so integral to any show today and this helps the rental companies to understand the delivery of each system and gain knowledge about the solutions for different needs for sound-reinforcement.
What led to the introduction of the Pro AV segment at the PALM Expo?
The Pro AV segment at the PALM has been introduced to gain traction with the AV integration market in India, which is growing rapidly. Today, you have CCTVs and audio visual and audio video integration at almost every establishment. The installation community is really expanding and they are confirmed visitors to the PALM for all their components and their demand for video and display solutions, from projectors to LED displays and video walls to plasma and LCD displays for integration. Hence, the PALM becomes the perfect platform to strengthen the promotion of the AV segment. Incidentally, the home surround sound and video solutions too is strong at the PALM, attracting the high-end consumer who needs an introduction to the best brand and quality for in-home experience.
In coming years, how do you plan to grow and develop this property?
We at Diversified intend to deliver much more in terms of production values and this year, we have a Khyber lounge and better catering and we will bring in the international experience in attending a show of this complexity. We propose to use digital communication tools and increase learning opportunities as well as career building opportunities at the PALM. We will develop additional interactive experiences too. We will involve associations and communities.