Another year, another PLASA, and this year’s show wasn’t just about drinking and chatting – here we look at the highlights, including product launches and company announcements.
With preliminary visitor figures of over 12,000, showing a marginal increase over 2010 and strong international engagement from across the world, organisers PLASA Events are “delighted” with the positive feedback to this year’s PLASA 2011.
This year’s event sets the scene for a strong return to Earls Court in 2012.
“Exhibitors have been enthusing about the high quality of visitors and the rate of sales enquiries, and with hundreds of new products being launched, there has been a great return on investment for them. We expect to see many back here at Earls Court next year,” says events manager Sophie Atkinson.
Visitors were also able to get their hands on some of the industry’s hottest new products – although many S&S spoke to at the show lamented that while new gear was in abundance (over 500 were launched at the show), truly ground-breaking and therefore game-changing products were few and far between.
PLASA 2011 did deliver an enhanced visitor experience, with a raft of new interactive features drawing substantial crowds, including the STLD’s LED luminaire shootout (which attracted crowds throughout the show), the expanded Theatres Trust Ecovenue feature and the new PLASA Production Bar.
Another big success was the second PLASA Rigging Conference, attended by 175 delegates from 18 countries, some travelling from as far as Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden, Canada, the USA, Hong Kong and Australia, to share their know-how and explore best practice in a fast changing field.
Over 70 rigging professionals also turned out for the informal Riggers’ Forum on the afternoon of Sunday 11 September - an increase of 60 per cent on expected numbers.
Equally popular was the expanded Education and Learning Programme, which drew over 2,200 people. Several key sessions, including the Gottelier Masterclass by ETC’s Fred Foster, ‘Lighting Visualisation at the Royal Opera House’, the ALD’s ‘50 Years of Lighting’, the RST and Stage Electrics’ ‘Transforming Theatres’, Bernie Davies’ ‘Lighting Big Events for Television’ and MA Lighting’s ‘How the Sun works and why the fixture weighs so much!’ were all standing room only.
Dave Swallow’s much anticipated session on ‘The Art of Mixing a Show’ was so oversubscribed that it was switched to the much larger Cromwell Room to meet demand for places.
“The seminar programme has continued to grow in both quantity and quality, and its popularity means we are being offered ever more exciting ideas for providing unique insights and sharing knowledge across the industry,” says Atkinson.
And the organisers for the show are already looking to 2012, when they promise new features will ensure the industry comes back to Earls Court again. “Take up for next year is already very strong, we’re already working on the next generation of ideas and we’re looking forward to a great PLASA 2012,” adds Atkinson.
The PLASA Show returns to Earls Court from Sunday 9 to Wednesday 12 September 2012.