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Press Office


6 February 2012

Free Professional Development Programme Launched!

The free programme of demonstrations, seminars and tutorials at PLASA's Leeds event is even bigger and better this year as visitor registration doubles in size.

PLASA Focus: Leeds 2012 looks forward to welcoming a record number of visitors to the fourth annual PLASA Focus event at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 April - as PLASA Events confirm that visitor registration to date is already up 100% on 2011. Building on the success of the two-day educational programme from previous years, PLASA Events is delighted to announce the launch of the new PLASA Focus Professional Development Programme: a series of free seminars and demonstrations delivered by some of the industry's leading experts.

Events Manager Sophie Atkinson confirmed, "As promised, we are bringing a broad choice of sessions to Leeds, including a look at some exciting regional projects and some special sessions presented by some of the industry's most talented people. As always, all sessions are free to attend."

The programme kicks-off in the sumptuous surroundings of the Bury Theatre, where visitors can hear from The Institute of Acoustics as they present When Entertainment Meets Life Safety - an investigation into the integrated relationship between Broadcast Sound and the Life Safety Audio Systems that are a prerequisite in arenas and stadia.

Peter Hall from Sansome Hall Architects, Jon Woodley of Charcoalblue Theatre Consultants, Theatresearch's David Wilmore and Mark Priestley from Unusual Rigging make up the team of experts behind the recent Restoration of Newcastle's Theatre Royal. They explain how the astonishing transformation of this 1901 Frank Matcham gem was achieved in time to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the theatre on the site. The session will be an investigation into how historically authentic refurbishment and twenty-first century technologies do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Mapping the Pyramid stage - Glastonbury Festival is presented by David Mulcahy, Technical Director at XL Events. He looks at the process and techniques involved in the stunning mapping and projection for Coldplay's Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall at Glastonbury Festival. The seminar covers the whole process, from initial concept, through visualisation and planning to the final delivery of the project. Factors such as projector 'brightness', positions, the use of projector warp cards and server texture maps are all included, along with other challenges such as the infamous Glastonbury mud!

Tuesday in the Bury Theatre is rounded off by Chris Higgs and Harry Box from Total Solutions Group who invite you to Secondary School. They ask the question: When Is It Necessary To Use Secondary Suspensions? Challenging the belief that using secondary suspensions is a legal requirement, or that fire regulations require them, or even that the load has to be taken off the hoists, this seminar investigates the reasons why these myths exist - as well as what is actually required and why.

Opening the Programme on Wednesday is Lighting Visualisation and Smart Design in 3D Theatre. James Simpson, who runs the visualisation suite at the Royal Opera House, discusses the concept of visualisation and the role it plays in their productions, including the Royal Ballet's production of Romeo and Juliet at the O2 Arena. This session is aimed at lighting designers, programmers and anyone interested in the future of visualisation and how it could work for their production or business - whether complete novice or regular user.

Moving from the visual to the audio, Listen Up! Diagnosing Sound System Problems With Our Ears is presented by The Institute of Sound and Communication Engineers (ISCE). If you are interested in knowing how to optimise and efficiently fault-find an audio system - be it in a theatre, church or a railway station - then this seminar is a must see - and hear! Presented by Peter Mapp and Jon Raper, two of the UK's most experienced sound system practitioners, this will offer a wealth of information, practical tips and invaluable listening experience.

From audio to lighting, The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) invites you to discuss what the future holds for Lighting Design and Lighting Designers in a seminar entitled The Next 50 Years of Lighting. Questions up for discussion will include: What should we do differently in the next 50 years? Is there a Great Innovator - a modern Appia - out there at the moment? How should Lighting Designers influence the development of the tools they work with? Is the role of Stage Lighting Designer a passing fad and are we all destined to become Video Designers?

Live Music Recording - Capturing Adele At The Royal Albert Hall is the final session on Wednesday. With thirty years' experience in the industry, including 18 BRIT Awards (now live-to-air and live-to-iTunes), the MTV EMAs and a list of soundtracks longer than your arm, Toby Alington reflects on the challenges and processes of adapting live recording techniques to artists, venues and final, post-performance production formats - in a session not to be missed.

Situated overlooking the Leeds Waterfront, the Wellington Suite provides the venue for The PLASA Focus Exhibitor Demo Room, where d&b audiotechnik presents two sessions. Can You Hear Me at the Back? explores how to get the sound you've lovingly nurtured through the console to every single seat in the house. In their second session, d&b audiotechnik want you to discover what methods can be used to achieve even sub-bass coverage, whilst minimising unwanted energy elsewhere. Steve Jones investigates the methodology behind realising a nice, even, bottom end.

Audio-Technica will be discussing a variety of wireless-specific topics in a session entitled An Insight Into Medium / Large Scale Wireless Installation, starting with an overview of licensing, including information on channel 38 wireless systems. Audio-Technica's training and product support specialist, Logan Helps, will also discuss distribution systems and antenna mounting, as well as looking at the microphones suitable for a multiple channel wireless microphone installation.

In a session called Wireless Controls with RDM and Ethernet Advantages, Ben Darrington from Wireless Solution provides an insight into the possibilities and advantages of combining wireless control with remote device management. Wireless software updates, improved network distribution and Ethernet protocols like Art-Net, s/ACN can, says Ben, provide new opportunities for market development and expansion.

The PLASA Focus Professional Development Programme is an ideal environment in which to take advantage of free advice, expertise and know-how. Details of how to book your free place can be found on the show website More events scheduled for the Professional Development Programme will be announced soon.

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.