Palm Expo opened in the searing heat of pre-monsoon Mumbai on Thursday 31 May, and at first glance the show looked busier than ever. Eager attendees in a hurry to enter the halls clustered around the registration area, while larger-than-ever stands pushed out to the very edges of the show floor. From first thing on day one, early indications for the 2018 edition were promising.
Show organiser ABEC’s decision in recent years to separate the audio and lighting/staging halls has resulted in a mature show, in which different elements of the entertainment technology industry have found their place. Five Demo Qubes, the Harman Live Arena, Palm Soundscape, Palm DJ Championships and the Palm Conference & Seminar all collaborated to promise a jam-packed schedule over the coming days.
As well as an upbeat mood on the show floor, there were also signs the organiser had listened to last year’s concerns. Noise police patrolled the floor, threatening to disconnect serial offenders, while over in Hall 7, a dedicated area had been set up for indoor line array demos following last year’s fiasco in which the oudoor event was closed down on the first day
. However, despite the effective acoustic shell created by acoustician Milind Raorane, show attendees had taken a cautious approach this year, with only three brands – Stonewater, Salt Audio and Beta 3 – taking part in the demos. Feedback was promising, however. ‘Many people that have come along for a listen are saying that the sound and the demo itself are a lot better than they expected,’ said Mr Raorane. ‘Hopefully, more people will be confident enough to participate next year.’
Evidence of new distribution deals and changes in representation was apparent, including the first appearance by Adamson with its new partners, Sonotone and Vardaman. They were joined along the front row of Hall 1 by a familiar array of stands including Harman, Hi-Tech and Sun Infonet.
It’s too early to tell, but early signs point to Palm Expo India – now in its 18th edition – enjoying another record-breaking year at the Bombay Exhibition Centre.