A new venue, more exhibitors, an external area for large screen viewings and mega sound demonstrations� this year�s MediaTech Africa advanced technology trade fair had all this and more, making it a resounding success.

This year�s Expo, which ran from 23 � 25 July, was based at the Coca Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg. The increased size of the Dome allowed for a better spread out display, more exhibitors, and a huge exterior area for the really loud sound and the huge video screen displays thereby allowing more potential for music industry exhibitors.

In Focus attended the show and was impressed. The greater interior space saw various exhibitors taking full advantage of the available space and height, and some of the stands were truly magnificent, examples being the Sony stand, which won first prize in the battle of the stands competition, and second-placed Spescom. There were some 115 stands in total as well as various presentation areas and the ever popular Screen Africa Talent and Technology Conference.

�The show was great,� enthuses Simon Robinson, the event organiser. �I was extremely impressed by the quality of the exhibitors and the stands as well as the promotional approach to the show, as this goes a long way towards the success of a show of this nature.

�The visitors also turned out in force and we are delighted with the increased numbers and quality of visitors. The venue move was a big one for us but generally both visitors and exhibitors were very happy with the choice of venue, with the pros certainly out weighing the cons. More space, easier build-up and breakdown, extra parking, outdoor areas, and the fantastic volume and height inside all made a difference,� explained Robinson.

The number of exhibits on show and the interest value of the products on display made covering the entire floor plan a slow process, and two days would probably be the right amount of time to spend at the next show, assuming that you wish to absorb all that is on offer. It is extremely difficult to single out any individual stand for its interest value as many were exceptional. However, mention must be made of the Sony stand with an incredible Scalectrix display, and the Screen Africa stand where a mind-boggling �mind game� was demonstrated - visitors were invited to play a game of football with a partner using only the power of the mind to move the ball. Seems that this game, sponsored by Castrol, is used to train players in the art of relaxation and concentration!

Mention must also be made of the Yamaha stand, which featured demonstrations of their equipment by highly talented musicians, the most outstanding being the acoustic guitar duo.

Looking forward, Robinson said: �We will be doing a lot of research with our exhibitors and visitors, but I am confident we have a new home for MediaTech and that the Pro Sound and Staging companies have embraced MediaTech Africa as �their show�.�

One factor that stood out when wandering around the show was the number of foreign accents on many of the stands. The show not only appeals to the local exhibitors but also to their overseas principals, who were out in force this year.

Robinson explains: �We�ve had a lot of overseas principals here this year, more than ever before and I believe this will increase significantly at the next event as traditional markets are getting saturated and events like MTA offer new developing markets for companies looking for new business and expansion of an African footprint.�

As the doors closed on Saturday, and the de-rig commenced, the general feeling was that MediaTech Africa was a great success. Well done and thanks to all the exhibitors and visitors who attended!