Hubert Eckart, CEO of DTHG Service, reveals what’s in store for Showtech 2023
When and where will Showtech 2023 be held?
The international trade fair Showtech – The World Of Entertainment Technology – celebrates its comeback in Berlin, Germany. Showtech will take place on 5-8 June 2023 at Station Berlin.
The trade fair and congress are separated from each other so that exhibitors can also attend the congress. The trade fair will take place on 5-7 June, and the congress will start directly afterwards on 7 June at noon and run until 8 June. Showtech is rounded off by an attractive side programme with get-togethers, Showtech Night, on-site exhibitions and behind-the-scenes tours of Berlin theatres.
The location is the Station Berlin at Gleisdreieck in Berlin Mitte – just a few hundred metres from Potsdamer Platz. Station Berlin is the perfect location for Germany’s largest theatre technology trade fair. With its light-flooded halls and extraordinary listed architecture, it offers a unique backdrop with industrial charm.
Can you give a recap on the show’s recent history and reasoning behind the decision to return to the Showtech brand?
Showtech was first organised by Messe Berlin in 1984. From 1986 onwards, the DTHG acted as the conceptual sponsor of the fair and organised the congress programme. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the spectrum of visitors quickly expanded eastwards. In the 1990s, Showtech continued to grow in the light of a booming event industry, always closely linked to the DTHG.
In 2003 Reed Exhibitions became the new cooperation partner of Messe Berlin and DTHG. In 2005 Messe Berlin withdrew from the joint venture. In Spring 2013 the cooperation agreement between the DTHG and Reed Exhibitions Deutschland was terminated. In the spirit of joint dialogue within an international theatre and event industry, it was henceforth the DTHG’s task to maintain Showtech as an important platform and – under a new name – to lead it into the future.
After three successful trade fairs under the new title Stage Set Scenery, from 2015 to 2019, the pandemic forced the event industry and the DTHG to take a break from planning. At the beginning of 2022, the DTHG started planning for another edition in 2023 under the working title Stage Event Tech (SET//23). At the request of many exhibitors and visitors, we have decided to call our international trade fair in Berlin Showtech again.
What kind of exhibitors (and numbers) can attendees expect?
We expect more than 80 exhibitors from the fields of theatre and event technology, specialist planning, architecture and media technology and around 5,000 visitors from the cultural and media sectors. We expect exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. Our exhibitor list is getting longer every day; many international companies have already booked a stand. And the ticket buyers also come from many countries.
What are the most important reasons to visit?
Showtech is the only and largest trade fair in Europe that focuses specifically on the topic of theatre technology and architecture. Renowned manufacturers of event technology present their innovative products and services. Due to the temporal separation of trade fair and congress, there will be plenty of time during the fair for international and cross-industry networking in a relaxed atmosphere.
A highlight will again be the SoundLab. In the laboratory-like room, constructed exclusively for DTHG fairs, everything revolves around audio, acoustics and sound-reinforcement technology. With its non-rectangular floorplan, acoustically damped wall design and permanently installed multi-channel loudspeaker array (26 channels), it offers a unique environment for audio demonstrations. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the sound of modern audio technologies live and to exchange ideas on practical challenges.
Also, the congress programme – with top-class speakers – offers the opportunity for individual education.
Can you share your plans for the congress and its themes?
The two-day congress programme of Showtech, titled Theatre Of Tomorrow, deals with topics that move the industry. The range of topics includes sustainability and energy efficiency, theatre architecture, construction and refurbishment, immersive technologies and artificial intelligence at the theatre, safety on stage and European education and training in theatre technology.
Lectures, discussions and workshops allow an intensive examination of the growing demands of everyday work in theatres and individual further training. International experts will report on best practices from various countries and provide insights into exciting building projects, such as the lecture by architect Enrique Sobejano on the Cité du Théâtre in Paris.
Do you want to highlight the Showtech Product Award?
The presentation of the Showtech Product Award is the highlight of the fair. The award is given exclusively to exhibitors’ products that contribute to the creative and innovative implementation of an artistic idea by means of stage technology. The award will be presented for products in three categories – Technology, Sustainability and Light/Sound/Media. The winners will receive a certificate and the Golden Stage Drill.
An independent, international jury will make a pre-selection in the run-up to the trade fair, from which the best products will finally be chosen. In addition, the trade public will have the opportunity to evaluate the nominated products during the fair in Berlin. The product with the most ratings will receive the Audience award.
The Golden Stage Drill was chosen as a trophy because this typical theatre utensil is as simple as it is ingenious. The stage drill resembles a corkscrew and is used at the theatre to fix decorative parts to wooden supports. It can be used flexibly and holds stage sets securely together. The Golden Stage Drill award will be produced exclusively for Showtech by the DTHG member company cast C.Adolph & RST Distribution.
What networking opportunities are available?
All events during Showtech focus on direct dialogue. The trade fair itself invites networking, with roundtables on special topics in a quiet area of the large exhibitor hall and product presentations and lectures in the SoundLab. The large DTHG Lounge, which will be placed in the middle of all exhibitors, is the central meeting point for exhibitors, visitors, speakers and team. The catering zone is also connected here, so you can meet nice people at the DTHG Lounge at any time over a tasty drink. Also connected to the DTHG Lounge is the VIP Area, where private conversations can be held by appointment.
Station Berlin also has a roof terrace and a large courtyard where our food truck will be located. When the weather is nice, you can also chat with people over a snack.
On the evening of the second day of the fair, our big party, Showtech Night, will take place. In the fancy brewery BRLO, directly opposite Station Berlin, we will end the day with great food and cool music by a Berlin-based DJ. On the evening of the first day of the congress, there will also be a get-together, including catering, for all attendees.
What side events are being organised?
The highlight of the supporting programme will be the Showtech Night at the BRLO brewery. The BRLO Brwhouse is housed in 38 converted overseas containers. The Gleisdreieck location houses the brewery’s own brewery and gastronomy with a beer garden. The BRLO Brwhouse is Germany’s first vegetable-focused brewery and gastronomy location, with regional and high-quality meat as a side dish. It has won awards for both its architecture and gastronomic concept. Since 2018, the BRLO has been listed in the Gault & Millau. Further big side events will be the Showtech Product Award ceremony and the get-together after the congress.
We are also putting together a colourful programme for the weekend, of course. For example, there are discounts on tickets for the legendary theatre TIPI am Kanzleramt or guided tours of other renowned Berlin theatres. We will provide event tips beyond that, such as for re:publica, the festival for the digital society.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Information and tickets are available here. DTHG and OISTAT members, pupils, trainees and students have free or reduced admission for the trade fair and congress.
Showtech Trade Fair: 5-6 June 2023, 10:00 to 18:00.
Showtech Product Award Show: 6 June 2023, 17:00.
Showtech Night: 6 June 2023, 18:00.
Showtech Trade Fair: 7 June, 10:00 to 14:00.
DTHG Member Meeting: 7 June 2023, 11:00 to 13:00.
Showtech Congress: 7 June 2023, 14:00 to 18:00.
Showtech Congress Get-together: 7 June, 18:00.
Showtech Congress: 8 June 2023, 10:00 to 17:00.
Location: Station-Berlin, Luckenwalder Straße 4 – 6, D–10963 Berlin.