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PRESS INFORMATION

16 July 2007

PLASA Restructures Membership

Membership categories simplified, voting rights extended

UK - The 2007 AGM of the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) saw members vote in a major membership restructuring that will both simplify membership options and increase the choice to members of which PLASA services they wish to use.

The restructure, one of the key items on a packed agenda, was voted in on a show of hands by an overwhelming proportion of the record number of members who attended the AGM at the Hurlingham Club in London on 6 June.

The restructure, which is designed to ensure that PLASA represents the highest possible professional standards, will also provide a framework that better reflects the industry. As such, the existing nine categories of membership have been simplified to just four - Business, Educational, Individual and Affiliate.

PLASA is now working on the fine detail behind the restructure and the new scheme will be officially launched at PLASA07 at Earls Court in September (Sunday 9 - Wednesday 12 September).

The AGM's agenda was introduced by new Chairman Robert Lingfield, who reminded the Association of five challenging promises made at the 2006 AGM.

PLASA had pledged to develop the Association's influence and profile, extend members' business opportunities, grow the membership, develop its internal structure and set standards for the industry.

Of those, Rob explained, the first is well under way through PLASA's close involvement in the intense political lobbying over the ongoing fight against Ofcom's RF spectrum sell-off proposals.

New members' business opportunities, Rob added, will come courtesy of the new PLASA Events division, formed last September, which is looking to launch new events both in the UK and internationally, as well as expanded networking opportunities at the PLASA Show itself this year.

Membership growth efforts, meanwhile, are being tackled on numerous fronts, of which the forthcoming membership restructuring is expected to play a huge part in broadening the Association's appeal.

Finally, internal restructuring is well underway following the move to new PLASA-owned offices on the outskirts of Eastbourne, providing a more efficient working environment.

PLASA Treasurer David Hopkins focused on the Association's healthy financial development and its investments, particularly in the funding of political lobbying to ensure industry representation during Ofcom's Digital Dividend Review and the establishment of both the National Rigging Certificate and NVQs for the Audio and AV sectors.

CEO Matthew Griffiths followed with a look at the year to come, headlined by the PLASA Show's new layout and new features and other events planned by PLASA Events.

The after-lunch guest speaker was Tony Benn, former labour minister and cabinet member. He delivered a raptly devoured talk that ranged through his military service and political life. One of the few MPs to have truly earned the overused epithet 'maverick', his candid recollections of the corridors of power were neatly punctured by the aside that "some people ask me about how I see my political career - but I really don't recall anything as organised as a career!"

The most fascinating part of the afternoon came when Benn threw open the floor for questions, which were answered with a directness, humour and energy that belied the statesman's 82 years.

The Hurlingham Club confirmed its success as a venue for the AGM, its spacious halls and grounds the perfect setting for a midsummer gathering in the heart of west London.

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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