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13 July 2011

PLASA 2011 Seminar Programme Unveiled

PLASA Events has announced the first details of the PLASA 2011 Education and Learning Programme, which runs on all four days of PLASA 2011, at Earls Court in London from 11-14 September 2011.

Headlining the programme is the 2011 Gottelier Masterclass presented by last year's winner of the Gottelier Award and one of the best known designers in the industry, Fred Foster. The theme of his talk will be a huge draw since his title is 'A Call To Arms - We Must Protect the Quality of Light'.

Says Foster: "Faced with the headlong rush towards 'energy efficient' lighting, we as an industry must join together to defend the quality of light. While we have a duty to make and use more efficient sources of light, we must also work to ensure that these sources provide the beautiful full spectrum of light." The Gottelier Masterclass will be presented on Monday 12 September.

Continuing the lighting theme, the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) will celebrate its own 50th birthday with an open discussion of what the next 50 years might hold, and will pose the question: 'Is the role of stage lighting designer a passing fad and are we all destined to become video designers?'

The merging of lighting and video will be re-explored in four sessions hosted by Technologies For Worship (TFM) and again, by The Stage Management Association (SMA). The TFM sessions examine the use of video projection, how to prepare for a world of HD and 3D, how best to use computer slide presentations to enhance the worship service experience, and jumping into i-mag for the first time. The first SMA session explores the use of projection and digital media in theatre, with a second session dedicated to training for the touring code of conduct. For an audio perspective, the Institute of Sound and Communication Engineers present 'Video for Audio Engineers', which promises to explain how to interface new digital formats and incorporate legacy products into systems.

Top sound engineer and front of house for Seasick Steve, Corinne Bailey Rae, La Roux and Amy Winehouse, Dave Swallow will present his illuminating two-part talk on 'The art of mixing a show', exploring creative mixing in the live environment, and an understanding of the fundamentals of live sound. With plenty of top tips and tricks, be sure to book early for this one!

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Stage Electrics will explore the innovative rebuilding of the RST in Stratford upon Avon. 'Transforming theatres' is an opportunity to join in a review of the design and installation of the production technical facilities and includes a video tour of the theatres. Transforming theatres is a theme also being tackled by the Theatres Trust seminar: 'Space Invaders: Converting Spaces - Creating Theatres' which will discuss the specific challenges of converting existing buildings into theatres. It includes the findings from The Theatres Trust's annual conference in June 2011, which looked at ways in which civic buildings, warehouses, offices and town halls undergo conversion into theatres.

The thorny issue of the digital dividend and the 'great wireless mic swap out' will be the focus of a presentation on behalf of BEIRG. Alan March, a business development specialist at Sennheiser and an active member of the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group (BEIRG), will be giving a brief explanation of current spectrum policy thinking at Ofcom, talking about the digital switch over/digital dividend and the Channel 69 to Channel 38 transition. He will also discuss what type of wireless telegraphy licences to use for specific wireless microphone applications and explain why it is critical for the future and how to obtain them. A special interest seminar by USITT (United States Institute for Theater Technology) will discuss some of the common myths, misconceptions, and truths of the theatre world in the United States. From union rules and regulations to job titles that have completely different responsibilities, the US theatre world may resemble the UK - but there are important differences. MA Lighting will deliver 'How the sun works and why the fixture weighs so much!' - an informal guide to all things about light generation, this seminar will cover the physics of lighting technology. With a careful nod to Einstein, a quick look at the laws of thermodynamics and a guess at how old a photon might be.

PLASA will explain the workings of 'BS 8901 - sustainability management systems for events'. This panel will present what BS 8901 requires, how it is being used in the events industry, how it being adopted as an ISO standard, and its impact in shaping industry practices.

A WiSE (Women in Stage Entertainment) seminar will discuss new models for working, including job sharing, part time, flexitime and how these can be embraced by our industry. The panel will also focus on how to ensure more women have access to work, reviewing success stories in the industry. It will cover the freelance culture and how this could be improved, as well as looking at models in other industries to see what insights they have to offer.

The AVnu Alliance is an industry forum dedicated to AVB interoperability (Audio Video Bridging), and bringing it to the Pro AV market and beyond. Discussion will revolve around the benefits such an alliance can bring to manufacturers and end users, the promise of AVnu certified devices and the benefits of AVB technology.

Other seminar topics include 'RDM advantages and possibilities' by Wireless Solutions and a talk by lighting designer Bernie Davies on 'lighting big events for television' - including two of the very biggest; The Proms and the Royal Wedding.

Further seminars will be announced shortly, together with details of a full programme of events hosted by InfoComm International.

Events Manager Sophie Atkinson comments: "The PLASA 2011 Education and Learning Programme brings industry issues and projects to life and helps to bring emerging technology and ideas to the professionals whose technical, creative and production skills will help to realize the diversity of projects and productions. With more special interest and case study sessions yet to be announced, PLASA 2011 offers a rich world of opportunities for industry professionals at every level."

Notes to Editors:

PLASA is the lead professional body for businesses that supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries. Operating from offices in Europe and North America, the Association provides business support services to its growing worldwide membership, writes industry standards, leads the development of qualifications and focuses on improving the business practices adopted by the industry. With over 1100 members worldwide, it represents one of the largest member networks in the industry.

PLASA also runs successful media and events divisions and is responsible for the industry-leading magazines Lighting&Sound International, Lighting&Sound America and Protocol and the PLASA Show in London, together with the European and North American regional PLASA Focus events.

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