ProSound Vietnam was on its third edition, and it was my first time attending the event. Luckily for me from what I heard from participants as well as the organiser, it was the best edition yet in terms of set-up and programmes. I met up with Nguyen Thân (also known as Kelvin for those, like me, who have a slight difficulty in pronouncing the name) one of the five key personnel involved in organising the event since its inception.
Thân is the Director of Cong Ty Tnhh Prosound Center Vietnam and Apex Multimedia. The companies are involved in systems integration and event management respectively. Apex is the event management company for ProSound Vietnam.
The other companies in the organising committee are Tan Huu Tai Co., Ltd, Van Nghe Co., Ltd., Long Phuc Co., Ltd., Hien Ann Show Co., Ltd.
ProSound Vietnam came about during a discussion in November 2016 amongst five companies that included Thân’s company. The others involved were three major rental companies and a company that specialises in trussing. “We had this invisible aspect where competing companies generally would not sit together, and I wanted to break that mould,” said Thân. “I had the advantage of being an SI which is a neutral position in the market.”
Nguyen Thân (aka Kelvin), Director of Cong Ty Tnhn Prosound Center Vietnam and Apex Multimedia
“One of the main reasons for ProSound Vietnam is for all the companies involved in the industry to come together to create a pro-sound community. The other objectives were to get technicians from around the country to listen to the new technologies in Vietnam as they would rarely get such a chance.”
The slogan “Together We Win” that appears below the event name begins to make sense now to me.
Thân informed me that in the first year the event was held only for one day with 12 loudspeaker brands supported by 12 booths and a speaker demonstration. “The speakers were all lined up in a straight row, and during the demo, visitors walked a straight line listening to one brand after another. About 3000 people attended the event.”
Last year again attracted 12 loudspeaker brands, and there were 34 booths with the event extended over two days. “This time we had the scheduled demonstrations in the booths in the morning and the loudspeaker demonstrations in the evening. This time the event attracted around 10000 visitors.”
This year there were 12 loudspeaker brands involved again in the demo but with 24 booths. “This time we only allowed each distributor to take up only one booth.”
The rates to participate? USD2000 for the loudspeaker demonstration. It is to be noted that the total amount of time offered for the demonstration over the two days is only 40 minutes on one day. For taking up a booth space, it is USD3000 for the two days. Brands can take up both options.
“For the loudspeaker demonstration we provide the truss as well as the electricity required,” said Thân.
The event is held at the Quan Khu 7 Stadium in Ho Chih Minh stadium. The stadium frankly is run-down, but this could not distract us from the event itself. The booths occupied the entire stadiums’ fringe area just after the tracks. This year there was a canopy over the booths that covered the whole stretch. Last year, the booths were over a single tent each which was not conducive considering the weather. This year’s arrangement helped a little bit more in protecting all from the scorching weather especially during the day time.
A large platform in the centre of the field held the FOH mixers. It was also the VIP area for guests to sit and listen to the loudspeaker demonstration.
The speaker demonstration stages were arranged to face the four sides of the platform. Each day showcased demonstration from six loudspeaker brands. Three loudspeaker brands were each rigged up as a pair in the left-right combination across a stage and faced the FOH/VIP platform. Once the first three brands had completed their demonstration, the guests including those on the field switched to the other side to listen to the next three brands.
A total of 40 minutes that included the compère’s introduction was allotted for each brand. A mix of DJ spin and full instruments live band performance for each brand enabled the brands to show their versatility.
One of the technical seminars being conducted
This year’s event also had a new dimension. Six technical seminars were held over the two days. These were held in a room inside the stadium. As some of the presenters spoke in English, a Vietnamese translator was on hand to help the audience understand the presentation better. The seminars targeted at the technical professionals received very decent turnout.
The event ended with an impressive light show by ACME
One aspect that caught my attention was the overwhelming numbers of ACME lighting fixtures. The company has undoubtedly captured a fair share of the market in Vietnam and is also a significant part of the inventory of one of the organisers.
All lighting support for the stage events featured ACME fixtures and the last evening of the event saw a special ACME Lighting Show that dazzled the crowd.
Why a unique proposition?
By holding it at an open stadium, there was indeed no concern about deafening sound, and each booth had scheduled time to demonstrate their systems. I was impressed with almost the strict following of the rules. This way of organising indeed resolves the common complaint of high decibels in a closed venue.
This event is organised by the industry and not a third party which adds an interesting dimension of companies coming together for the overall betterment of the industry in Vietnam. I believe continuous engagement amongst the industry players will lead to a more favourable industry.
VIP guests included concert organisers, event management companies, some corporate companies and advertising agencies. By inviting them, the organisers have provided them with the opportunity to listen to the different speakers and also experience the whole light and visual concept. Hopefully the guests will take back with them nuggets of information and experience that will help them with any future event plans.
The most significant aspect of this exhibition is that it is not for profit. Any balance of money is given to Charity. All done in a proper open manner. This year the plans are to donate to a Pagoda (Temple) for some refurbishment and to an orphanage that has F&B training for children who will be reaching 18 years of age. At 18, the child has to leave the orphanage, and the training is to help them secure a job so that they can live independently.
Thân mentioned that he was also looking into the possibility of getting the children trained as sound technicians so that they can work in the growing hospitality industry and beyond.
The organising committee of ProSound Vietnam
The heat does not help, but the concept is commendable.
A number of the international brands had their regional reps at the show which shows that they take this show seriously. I even saw a couple of regional buyers at the show. That made me think that there is an excellent opportunity for brands to bring their potential clients from the region to the event to listen to the demonstration. Ho Chih Minh has airport connectivity, and it is not too expensive a place.
The best part is it only needs to be a one-day event. The early part could be used for a regional tech talk in one of the nearby hotels and the evening for them to listen to the demonstration. Any takers?
There is indeed scope for this show to become truly a community for the pro-sound industry in Vietnam. Kudos to all of them for their effort.
ProSound Vietnam was held on 22 and 23 March 2019. If you are interested to know more about the next edition get in touch with Nguyen Thân at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by E-Tech Asia’s Editor/Publisher, Thomas Prakasam and appeared in the April 2019 issue.