Last weekend I attended my first ever industry trade show with nu desine and our product the AlphaSphere and to be honest, it was an incredible experience. I had already heard and read a lot about BPM, which takes place in Birmingham every year with some of the biggest names in the industry attending. I arrived on the train on the Sunday and as I made my way through the corridors of the NEC, I began to hear the bass pumping from miles away, becoming louder and louder until I finally reached the dark hall of DJ madness that was BPM.
It was hectic. The lighting was insane and there was so much of it coming at me in various colours, from all directions, moving in circles, strobes, flashes, lasers. The noise was pretty overwhelming too which I got used to after a while, although at first it just seemed like an annoying mash-up of various DJ sets as they each tried to blast out their neighbours. I decided to have a quick look around the whole hall before kicking off work with the AlphaSphere, and I managed to have a little nosey at all the main industry names and their stands, such as Numark with their impressive looking stand which showcased all of their hot new gear and gave passers-by the opportunity to play DJ. Ableton, Native Instruments, KORG and Pioneer DJ were also in attendance, which made me start to realise that BPM was a pretty cool place to be. Unsurprisingly, my favourite stand had to be Laserworld’s, which featured a huge blow-up tiger’s mouth marking the entrance of a very sweet laser maze, where contestants had to dodge and swipe different coloured lasers coming at them, which was all visible on a screen outside of the maze for people to watch and enjoy. Top marks for creativity.
nu desine and the AlphaSphere were lucky enough to have not only one, but two stands at the show; one located on the main walkway as you entered the hall, and the other as part of Chauvet’s main stand. The Chauvet stand had been built with our product in mind and was essentially a sphere within a sphere, which visually worked like a charm. Placed on top of a lit-up podium, the AlphaSphere looked great surrounded by flashing and swirling lights in various colours which were being controlled by the product, and some amazing smoke geysers placed either side above the stand, releasing explosions of faux-fog when certain touch pads were pressed on the AlphaSphere. Very cool.
The AlphaSphere attracted a lot of attention throughout the weekend, with many people really intrigued by its spherical genius and its shiny touch pads. We encouraged people to try both stands, not only getting up on the stage of the Chauvet stand to give it a go, but also to head over to our other chill-out stand where we had some comfy seats and headphones so that you could try out the AlphaSphere with a bit more privacy. The other really exciting thing that we had going on with Chauvet throughout the weekend was a Lightjockey competition which ran each day, where ballsy contestants took to the stage with the AlphaSphere. The idea was to compose a 2-minute set to be in with the chance to win £900 worth of Chauvet products including 2 Intimidator lights, a DMX box and an extremely cool laser for the runner-up. Below is a video of Monday’s Lightjockey competition which shows just how great the Chauvet lights looked around the stand and how much of an affect they had during each AlphaSphere set.
On Monday morning, the final day of BPM, I got the opportunity to check out an exclusive demo of the latest in stage-light technology at the invite-only breakfast in the Chauvet arena (amazing bacon butties). Here we were treated to product demos of the latest lasers, spotlights, floodlights and smoke machines and what was particularly impressive was the results achieved by new LED technology. Later in the day I actually got to see them all in action as Afishal took the stage with his custom midi-drum set-up to give a pretty spectacular performance which you can check out in the video below.
So overall, my first ever trade show experience was pretty epic. I got to see the different aspects of the DJ industry and network with all sorts of people, whilst also watching some amazing sets on the Chauvet main arena. The AlphaSphere went down a treat, and I loved seeing people’s different reactions when first encountering the product, from general amazement, to complete awe but all with one thing in common – the absolute need to touch it. Bring on the next event!