Plasa London 2014

PLASA London 2014 welcomed visitors and exhibitors to ExCeL, London for the
second consecutive show from 5 to 8 October and impressed with an inspiring
education programme and a host of important announcements. While exhibitors
revealed their latest product innovations, the organisers uncovered plans for the
future of the show.

Speaking at the PLASA Awards for Innovation and Sustainability, PLASA’s CEO
Matthew Griffiths revealed some of the changes for 2015, which will redevelop the
scope and delivery of the event. Under the leadership of Christopher Toulmin,
PLASA’s director of the Events Division, the show is being remodelled to become a
PLASA member-focused event which includes moving from four days to three days,
introducing a new floor plan concept, expanding the education offering and investing
in the audio, staging, AV and broadcast elements of the live entertainment
technology at the show to accompany the phenomenally successful lighting element.
Reflecting on PLASA London 2014 and looking forward to next year’s show, event
director James Ashwood, said: “PLASA events has a new team, with a new vision
for evolving and developing the PLASA show for the benefit of its exhibiting
members. We are at the start of this exciting journey, and moving ahead with
confidence, this has been reflected in the 80% rebook onsite for 2015.’

Just over 11 000 people attended the show, putting it slightly ahead of 2013, with a
surprise increase of 55% in the number of re-visits to the show, demonstrating that
people have been returning on more than one day.

One of the talking points throughout this year’s show was the Robe Arena – a 1 000
square metre stand, which created a huge immersive space adjacent to the main
show floor. The lighting manufacturer’s decision to “go big’ and try something
completely different as a one-off, centred on its 20th anniversary celebrations and
on providing a showcase for the launch of the new BMFL Spot lighting fixture.

Robe UK MD Mick Hannaford said that as opposed to being huddled up because
there stand is always busy, this year they were able to have more meaningful
conversations. “It’s worked really well and our only problem is it’s going to be very
difficult to come back from this now that we’ve gone this big, it will be very difficult
to ever do anything much less than this – it’s been so successful and well-worth the
extra costs.’

Exhibitors spoke about being happy with the number of good quality visitors they
were seeing and with the number of business-related conversations they were
having. Clay Paky’s CEO Pio Nahum, said: “In general, the attendance has been
very good and we had the perfect showcase for our new products, so I think it has
definitely been a good exhibition. Our lighting demonstration drew the crowds in
and the quality of the visitors has been very good, 20% of which are international

The Professional Development Programme (PDP) benefitted from two new positions,
adjoined to the main floor. Both the Audio and AV Theatre, and the Lighting and
Stage Theatre saw a huge range of seminar content, capturing imaginations and
drawing in large audiences. More than 2 000 people attended the PDP’s sessions,
indicating how important education is to the event and highlighting why PLASA plans
to expand the programme in 2015. Session highlights included “Pin the Mic on the
Actor’ from the Association of Sound Designers, Martin Professional’s sessions on
“The Use of Intelligent Lighting in TV’ and the “Technology of Theatre Lighting’,
Avolites Media’s “Convergence of Video and Lighting – Whatever Next?’ and Rockart
Design’s session about “Making the Eurovision Set Come to Life’.

Soulsound hosted seven sessions, which were extremely engaging and very well
attended. Company founder, Darryn de la Soul, said: “PLASA’s commitment to
professional development through inspiring content has paid off. We’ve welcomed
large numbers of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, to some incredible
Soulsound sessions. My gratitude goes out to all the session leaders who
contributed their time and knowledge – they were amazing.’

The fifth annual Rigging Conference, which ran alongside PLASA London 2014 on 6
October, thrived in its new one-day format. More than 160 delegates attended,
representing an increase in attendance of 15% on last year. Attendees came from
18 different countries, including New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and
the US. International visitors made up 30% of the audience, indicating that the
PLASA Rigging Conference is the global meeting point for the rigging community.

Programme curator, Chris Higgs, said: “This year’s conference allowed delegates to
contribute to the formation of an international rigging code of practice and discuss
the likely impact the CDM 2015 regulations will have on the industry.’

“As our keynote speaker, Bill Sapsis spoke about why we do what we do, making it
humorous as well as thought-provoking. Structural engineer Abigail Matthews made
a good case for using our common sense in a presentation that generated lengthy
discussion safety. A session concerning the integrity of the objects we are asked to
suspend, presented by Alan Bartlett of the RSC, was well received and we were
privileged to have Bill Dudley, a theatre designer with seven Olivier awards to his
credit as one of 17 panellists who helped make the 2014 conference the success it
was. All in all, a great turnout and very satisfying to see delegates from so many
different sectors of the industry. One of the high points for me is finding that
delegates share interest in the content I have programmed.’

About The Author

PLASA London 2014

The PLASA London show was founded in 1977 by PLASA and is the world’s premier pro audio and entertainment lighting event, held each year at ExCel London.
The show will be held from 5 to 8 October this year and is a driving force in supporting research and development and the development and promotion of the professional entertainment technology industry.

In addition to hosting exciting launches by the world’s greatest designers and engineers, PLASA’s worldwide reputation for attracting the most creative practitioners in show business has made PLASA London a must-attend event for international networking at the highest level.

The show is set to welcome an estimated 13 000 visitors. With over 250 exhibiting brands including Robe, Clay Paky, Philips, Sony, Shure, Highlite, Avolites, White Light and AC Entertainment PLASA London is the definitive UK trade show for the Live Entertainment Technology industries.

In addition to the product launches and demonstrations, PLASA London runs a comprehensive professional development programme (PDP) which involves four days of informative and practical content delivered on the show floor in the “Audio & AV’ and “Lighting & Stage technology’ seminar theatres, to which entry is free.
As ever, running alongside the main show are a raft of networking opportunities and a parallel conference, the PLASA Rigging Conference, which will take place on 6 October. The one-day programme will be packed with relevant content, once again curated by Chris Higgs of Total Solutions.

Also, the PLASA PDP hosts the exchange of hundreds of important ideas. Each session features a prominent member of the international pro audio or entertainment technology world, each offering their unique perspective on conceiving, producing, designing, programming, engineering and planning some of the world’s greatest live shows and installations. Over 300 speakers have taken part in these panels before and more than 3 000 practitioners passed through one or more free educational sessions in 2013.

There will also be awards evenings such as the PLASA Awards for Innovation and the Knights of Illumination (KOI) awards. The PLASA Awards for Innovation aim to emphasise this focus on true innovation. The awards will feature innovation that demonstrates a new style of thinking, improves technical practice, introduces new technology, new materials or new techniques, includes patents or unique intellectual property, offers a new commercial advantage and improves safety.

In addition to eight Awards for Innovation, the judges also present the PLASA Award for Sustainability. This award is to recognise products which claim significant reduction of power usage for its product type / application, effective use of renewable energy sources or significant reduction of environmental impact of product lifecycle.

The KOI awards, organised by STLD, ALD, Ambersphere and Clay Paky, provide public recognition for the outstanding achievements of experts in lighting design, video and graphic display and projection design who work for UK productions across a range of professional areas. The KOI awards will be held on 5 October at London’s art deco Troxy theatre.

With all of these activities on the go, PLASA promises to be a must-attend show to keep up to date with the latest products and industry developments, as well as for visitors and exhibitors to meet customers and suppliers.

Interest in PLASA London 2014 is strong with more exhibitors, more pre-registered visitors and more international visitors already signed up. To register for the event and to keep up-to-date with the exhibitors and content line up, visit:

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