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Press Office


5 September 2006

PLASA Launches Events Strategy

PLASA - the Professional Lighting and Sound Association - has announced a new events strategy to drive the development of its market-leading PLASA Show and to advance its range of business and networking events. Central to this major initiative will be the roll-out of a number of satellite events, including the launch of a regional networking event in the north of England, details of which will be announced shortly.

The move will be underpinned by the launch of PLASA Events Ltd, which will implement the new strategy, and also allow PLASA to build on the success of its established PLASA Show, paving the way for a major relaunch of the event in 2007. The new division will be headed by two faces familiar to the industry: Nicola Rowland joins the PLASA team as Director of Events and Sophie Matthews joins as Operations Manager. Formerly with Clarion Events, both have wide experience in the exhibitions sector and have been closely involved with the growth of the PLASA Show over a number of years.

By mutual agreement, the move brings to an end the successful 16-year partnership with Clarion Events who managed the show on the Association's behalf, and who are now keen to focus on their own growing portfolio of events. Clarion will remain involved with the PLASA Show in the short-term and work closely with the PLASA team to ensure a smooth handover.

The strategy accelerates PLASA's ambitions to strengthen and develop the PLASA Show. Immediate plans will focus on a dramatic new layout for PLASA07 with the Show moving to one level and extending from Earls Court 1 into Earls Court 2. The 2007 redesign will also allow for renewed emphasis on feature areas, as well as creating space for future growth and a more innovative approach to the way exhibitions are delivered in the industry.

In the longer term, it will see PLASA roll-out a range of business and networking events for the industry, together with a new strand of regional and international events and conferences. One of the first events to be launched will be in the north of England: this will be an event dedicated to bringing the industry together at a regional level, further details of which will be announced in October.

Matthew Griffiths, CEO of PLASA, commented: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the Association and we are really pleased to welcome to the team Nicky and Sophie who have a wealth of experience in delivering successful events. PLASA's role is to lead on behalf of the industry and we intend to ensure that the PLASA Show remains the main showcase for the creative talents and technical expertise of our sector. Our aim is to use it as the benchmark for an imaginative new range of events and seminars that will create more effective business and networking opportunities for the industry."

James Brooks-Ward, managing director of Clarion Events, added: "The PLASA Show is a terrific event and Clarion has enjoyed every moment of being a part of it for 16 years. From the time Clarion got involved when the show was at Olympia 2, to its eventual move to Earls Court 1, PLASA has advanced from a predominantly UK dealer show to its position as the world leader. We are sad to see it go, but we know that it will go from strength to strength under the Association's guidance."

Meanwhile, PLASA06 (which opens on Sunday 10 September at Earls Court One) looks set to be a record-breaking event. Over 500 of the industry's leading brands will be at the show, visitor numbers look set to rise and there will be an expanded range of features, events and seminars.

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.