We chatted to a few of the South African representatives that attended PLASA
London this year to get their opinions on the show. Here is what they had to say…

Ofer Lapid, MD, Gearhouse South Africa

It felt like it had become much more localised and more UK-focused. One could say
it had reduced but I found it more manageable to see people in a more focused way
and have an opportunity to have a thorough look and discussion around the

My primary reason for attending was to meet with old faces and rub shoulders. I
hoped for discount but I didn’t get it because I didn’t buy anything, but the products
that impressed me were the Robe BMFL and High End Systems’ Shape Shifter and
Whole Hog 4.

Duncan Riley, director, DWR Distribution

The show was really good this year, it was great to meet up with all our suppliers
and attend the distributor meetings held in London. I think international visitor
numbers were extremely low compared with previous years of PLASA due to the
location of the venue in the docklands area, Excel , it is just simply out of the way.
I have attended many PLASA exhibitions in the past at Earls Court in Central
London, and I do think the venue drove international numbers down, but as far as
UK visitors go, numbers were up. Only two South African companies visited the
exhibition this year and normally there would be at least 10 to 15 local companies
visiting the exhibition.

The main reason for attending was to attend distributor functions and maintain
relationships with our suppliers that are based all over the world. It really helps to
have all our suppliers at one place at the same time instead of travelling to the
relevant countries to visit them.

I got exactly what I was expecting from the show so it was definitely a worthwhile
trip for me. Products that grabbed my attention and stood out from the rest were
the Robe BMFL, the new Mythos fixture from Clay Paky , the VL 4000 from Philips
Varilite and Lumen Radio’s new CRMX Chip, and all of these products won awards at
the exhibition.

Freddie Nyathela, president, South African Roadies Association

The show was fine but I felt it was not as well-attended as previous shows at the
previous location. It didn’t seem to attract as many exhibitors either, and I feel it is
struggling since it moved from Earls Court.

My reason for going was to network and meet with the UK’s training and education
industry organisations like the Backstage Academy and the National Skills Academy
for Creative and Cultural Skills, and to meet VPLT – The Professional Lighting and
Sound Association of Germany. As always I also attended some of the educational
seminars of the PLASA Professional Development Programme and met with officials
of equipment manufacturing companies like Prolyte, SGM and ROE Visual Europe.
I was very impressed by ROE Creative Display’s Black OnyX series, which is ROE
Visual new high-performance indoor HD LED display that can be set up in any way –
stacking, hanging and curve.

Dave Whitehouse, sales executive, DWR Distribution

I really enjoyed the show! It was great to see the latest developments, especially in
luminaires. Technology is evolving rapidly and it’s so important to keep up. It’s is
also great to see old friends in the industry, and it’s great from a networking point
of view. The only disappointment was the lack of South African visitors.

The show was smaller than it was at Earles Court, no question. However, the
quality of product on display was as high as ever. My purpose was to see new
products, technologies, as well as network. Being able to meet other distributors
from different parts of the world, each with their own challenges, was most

The Robe BMFL and miniPointe, the Clay Paky Mythos Spot and Stormy LED Strobe,
the Robert Juliat Merlin Touring Followspot and the new Philips Strand NEO control
desk and VariLite VL4000 were the highlights for me, as they are all revolutionary
in their own ways.