17 September 2009
PLASA09 delights exhibitors with strong levels of business
PLASA09 ended on a highly upbeat note last week with a host of exhibitors expressing delight at the quality of visitors despite the financial climate and slightly lower turnout than last year.
PLASA Events' show director Nicola Rowland said: "We are absolutely delighted that the show had such a strong dynamic this year. Exhibitors came ready and willing to do business, and so did visitors."
She added: "There was an overwhelming impression that the quality of visitors was good, with serious decision makers and trade buyers attending throughout the show - proof that the show is a fundamental part of the purchasing plans of senior buyers and specifiers. It was also great to see that R&D in the industry continues despite the economic climate and it was reflected in both the number of product launches on the show floor and the quality of products entered in the Awards for Innovation."
The show drew 11,518 visitors (subject to ABC Audit), with 28% coming from 99 countries worldwide, whilst entries for the PLASA Awards for Innovation were at the same level as last year, and several exhibitors attribute their successful product launches to the Awards' impact.
Meanwhile, the prestigious Gottelier Award went to Alex Cooper for his design achievements at Midas and Klark Teknik.
New initiatives at PLASA09 included the presence of government agencies with the Supply2.gov.uk Lounge attracting a lot of interest, and advice on procurement and funding opportunities in the public sector being well received by both visitors and exhibitors. The PLASA Show's strongest ever Education & Learning Programme totalled 36 sessions with an array of sessions including Industry Masterclasses from former Gottelier Award recipients Tony Andrews of Funktion One and John Stadius of DiGiCo, seminars, product presentations, industry debates and intensive product training. Hugo Roche, Managing Director of Sysco and one of the panellists on the AV Magazine-hosted seminar on the British Music Experience, commented: "Our seminar was well attended and everyone seemed very pleased; it was a really good experience."
Joe Bull, Managing Director of JoeCo, a new exhibitor to the Show, and Award for Innovation winner for the company's Blackbox Recorder BBR21 for live performances, said: "The PLASA Show was phenomenal - far better than I could have hoped. And I think that was due in large part to the Awards for Innovation, not because we were a winner, but because we were a part of it and had our product on display in the Innovation Gallery."
His view was seconded by another new exhibitor, Phil Ion of Core Lighting: "We had a great experience; being at our first show as a new business we didn't know what to expect, but the quality of the leads and the depth of the discussions we had with potential customers was fantastic. Even better, our Awards entry generated a lot of interest in the products. It all provided a great springboard as part of the launch strategy for the business and the individual products, so we will certainly be attending next year."
Long-standing exhibitor Tony Andrews of Funktion One commented: "We've had a fantastic show and the quality of enquiry has never been better," while XLNT Advanced Technologies' Commercial Director, Marc van der Wel, said: "We found that visitors were very serious, and very interested in our new products - it was very worthwhile." Meanwhile Fabiano Besio from LDR added: "We had good feedback and we are now following up all the requests and contacts. The PLASA Show continues to exceed my expectations and proved once again it is the entertainment industry's leading trade show."
With product launches across all market sectors there was plenty of positivity and a genuine buzz on the showfloor. "This year's PLASA Show was superb for us," said Ian Cullen, Marketing Director of Sound Technology. "We weren't quite sure what to expect given the current climate, but we were overwhelmed by the quantity and, most noticeably, the quality of the visitors to our stand. We saw a huge number of key people from the commercial audio and live sound sectors and there's potential for some very large-scale projects off the back of it. Many of the enquiries were from consultants and integrators and theatre sound designers in particular."
Scott Foster, General Manager of Triple E, exhibiting in their own right for the first time in four years, added: "We were impressed by how broad an audience we could reach at PLASA09 and the event gave us an opportunity to show our products to an international audience. It was great to be back and we learnt about some very exciting overseas projects. It was a pleasure to exhibit at such a well managed, professionally organised show."
Andrew Richardson, General Manager of Adam Hall - another former exhibitor returning after two years - noted: "I'm delighted with the success of PLASA09. Building on from many recent product launches PLASA09 gave us an excellent platform to continue this promotion to new and existing customers from across Europe. We have grown our client base and penetrated new markets. Without doubt, we will be exhibiting at the PLASA Show next year and look forward to another successful show."
"PLASA09 closed on a real high," said Nicola Rowland, "with exhibitors and visitors walking away confident that business opportunities and projects were on the up. There was a definite sense of cautious optimism, and less of the 'fear factor' that grasped everyone at the beginning of the year. While there was a strong loyalty factor with regular exhibitors making up over 80%, equally there was a healthy presence of new and returning exhibitors which proves that you will see new products, and meet new people at the PLASA Show. Exhibitors were having focused conversations with senior trade buyers and decision makers who were there to discuss projects, place orders, and research new products. All in all it's been a universally positive experience and places us in a strong position for next year."
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.