Future bright for region’s audio visual industry

Published March 13th, 2010 - 10:44 GMT

The Middle East has been identified as being among the fastest growing markets for the multi-billion audio visual industry which, in spite of the troubling economic environment last year, has seen no overall contraction in spending.

“The future looks bright for the audio visual industry with the market in the Middle East and Africa expected to be worth more than $3 billion by 2012,” said Alex Heuff, Exhibition Director of PALME Middle East, the region's only trade event dedicated to professional lighting, audio, music, entertainment, audio visual and systems integration industry.

“According to research conducted by InfoComm Academy, PALME’s official education provider, the audio visual industry’s non-profit trade body, the regions experiencing the fastest growth have been identified as Latin America and Middle East and Africa,” Heuff added.

PALME, which takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 18-20 April 2010, includes INSTALL for professional audio visual and systems integration technologies; MUSAC for musical instruments and accessories; and a competition to find the region’s hottest DJs.

In a reflection of the strength of the market, the PALME Middle East organisers are reporting advance registration by visitors to this year’s show up 20% from last year with exhibitor numbers up by 10%. “With the growth in digital signage and related technologies, the INSTALL section has expanded in particular for 2010 with new audio visual applications for shopping malls, hotels, nightclubs, theatres, events, airports, religious buildings and commercial developments,” said Heuff.

The study valued the worldwide audio visual industry at more than US$68 billion and forecasts growth of 10% by 2012.  “Globally, North America is the largest professional audio visual market at 45% ahead of Asia (25%), Europe (23%), Latin America (4%), and Middle East and Africa (3%),” Heuff said. “Though smaller, the Middle East and Africa market is particularly strong and predicted to grow from over US$2 billion in 2009 to well over US$3 billion by 2012.”

Accordingly, Heuff agreed that growth is being propelled by displays and audio visual conferencing equipment, streaming media, webcasting, wireless connections and software. Hotspots include digital signage, video conferencing and command and control facilities.

The study also shows professional audio visual services growing faster than products in all regions. Fastest growing products are displays, conferencing equipment, streaming media and webcasting and wireless connections and software. Fastest growing services are programming, maintenance and training. Education is the fastest growing customer sector. Others are government, corporate and hospitality.

“Environmentally friendly and energy efficient audio visual systems are also a notable growth opportunity in this region,” said Heuff. “While ‘green’ audio visual is a keen issue in North American and Europe, InfoComm say it is not yet on the radar in regions such as the Middle East and Africa.”

The PALME Awards take place on 19th April 2010 at Al Mutaqa Ballroom, Dubai World Trade Centre with titles for best audio visual, lighting and audio products and installations in the Middle East to be awarded.

More than 30 speakers from leading audio, light, music and entertainment companies have been lined up for conferences and seminars during the event focusing on systems integration and lighting. In addition, there will be a comprehensive education programme by leading industry professionals including certified courses on the latest technologies and techniques from education partners InfoComm Academy and the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association.

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