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PRESS INFORMATION

25 April 2008

PLASA Focus - Leeds 2009 unveiled

Connecting the Industry with a New-Style Event

PLASA Events has announced the official launch of the first PLASA Focus event, to be held in the Saviles Hall of the Royal Armouries in Leeds, on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th April 2009.

PLASA Focus - Leeds 2009, the successor to the A.C. Lighting North trade show, will be the first of an entirely new style of regional event under the PLASA Focus banner, with an emphasis on connecting the industry with exceptional networking opportunities.

It will be the perfect regional networking complement to the PLASA Show itself and will build on both the growing success of the redesigned and expanded PLASA Show and the legacy of goodwill created by A.C. Lighting North.

Taking the 'look and feel' of the latter as its basis, PLASA Focus - Leeds 2009 will see an expansion and development in many areas, including exhibitor space and seminar sessions, alongside partnerships with regional organisations.

An expanding exhibition floor will accommodate new exhibitors, with many companies already expressing a strong interest in participating, as the event will be open to all manufacturers, distributors and other suppliers, large and small.

Show Director Nicola Rowland comments: "PLASA Focus in Leeds will allow companies an opportunity to come together on a regional basis, in a very clear and business-focused, but informal, setting.

"It will be very different from the established London-based PLASA Show in terms of style and emphasis, but will reflect the quality of event the industry has come to expect from the PLASA team.

"Exhibitors and visitors who have enjoyed the way A.C. Lighting North has evolved will see the unique atmosphere and emphasis of the event maintained seamlessly, particularly the friendliness, socialising and networking aspects, while the breadth of the show will expand to help create even more new business opportunities.

"The launch of PLASA Focus reflects our original intention to create a portfolio of different events for the industry to help generate new business, each one suited to the needs of its own region, format or subject matter.

"We're actively canvassing opinions among both long-standing supporters of A.C. Lighting North, and the expectations of those who would like to sign up for the new event, to ensure it meets everyone's needs and complements the main PLASA Show in London, as well as existing as a strong event in its own right. It will also give more companies a chance to find out about, and participate in, some of the PLASA organisation's other activities."

PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths says: "PLASA Focus is a direct result of feedback from PLASA members who believe that our expertise can enhance what is already a well-respected event.

"We're very excited to be developing PLASA Focus as a networking forum, whose affordability will make it readily accessible to many of the smaller companies in our industry, with the PLASA organisation's badge of professional presentation and management."

An event at the heart of Northern England's economic boom

The Leeds heartland of Yorkshire & Humber has a diverse and bullish economy, with a GDP exceeding £81 billion that ranks it amongst the top third of the world's national economies - outpacing the European average for the last five years.

Leeds and the region's other four major cities, Bradford, York, Sheffield and Hull, have seen billions of pounds poured into commercial development over the past decade - including major capital investment projects in the arts world, such as Barnsley's new Digital Media Centre, the Bridlington Royal Hall and Spa Theatre, and the Scarborough Spa complex.

Meanwhile, the regeneration across the Pennines over the past two decades has been equally spectacular. Most recently Liverpool, in its European Capital of Culture year, has seen the £10m redevelopment of its Bluecoat Arts Centre, and the new ACC Liverpool, home of the Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre, named 'best UK venue' at Europe's largest convention for event organisers, CONFEX, in February.

Further north, flagship projects include BBC Scotland's new £72m headquarters in Glasgow, which opened in September 2007.

For further information on PLASA Focus - Leeds 2009 please call the PLASA Events team on +44 (0)20 7370 8665.

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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