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05 February 2013

Professional Development Programme Announced - Bigger, Better and still Free!

Free registration is now open for the PLASA Professional Development Programme, running alongside a sold-out PLASA Focus: Leeds 2013, on Tuesday 30 April and Wednesday 1 May 2013.

Whether you are a seasoned campaigner in the entertainment sector or a student considering the live events industry as a career, the PLASA PDP is an unmissable opportunity to learn new skills, watch new product demonstrations and meet some of the most respected practitioners in the business.

Kicking off is Adam Bennette, Technical Director of ETC Europe, who leads a discussion about how to design new systems that support both tungsten and LED lighting in a rational and sustainable way. Requirements for Data and Power Infrastructures for LED Stage Lighting is a seminar where audience participation is an important part of the process so system designers, technical managers from theatres and multi-purpose venues and equipment designers who want to have their voices heard shouldn't miss this one-off opportunity to have their say and make a valuable contribution.

If you want to keep right up to date with the use of Ethernet and Networking in the lighting industry and investigate where this technology is heading then make sure you don't miss out on Networking for Roadies, which is best described by the presenter himself. "My seminar is designed to debunk technical myths about control protocols and show how they interact, compete or complement in the real world of a live venue," says Wayne Howell, Technical Director of Artistic Licence and recognised as a major contributor to the original development of the DMX512-A and RDM (Remote Device Management).

The ever expanding practices of stage automation is the subject tackled by John Hastie, Group Development Director of Stage Technologies and one of the original proponents of automated control systems for live productions. During Automation for the People, John will debunk the notion that motorised control in smaller venues is a black art to be avoided through concerns about affordability and complexity. As John himself comments, "There are innovative ways of using the technology for maximum effect and minimal budget. Automation is just as practicable and viable for the smaller venue and production and it can transform a performance without increasing the risk."

A trio of experts representing the ABTT will ask the question: Are You Competent: Can You Prove It? Robin Townley, AEO at the ABTT, Tom Mannings, Head of Technical at English National Opera and Chris Higgs, Training Manager at Total Training Ltd are all passionate about standardising assessment and validating competency across our industry. It is no longer simply enough to say you can do something; as professionals, practitioners are now expected to be able to prove it. If you are a working technician this seminar offers you the opportunity to learn how to use your current training and experience to achieve recognition of your vocational proficiency.

If your chosen area of skill concerns stage and event lighting then Ambersphere's grandMA2 - What It Does and How It Does It! is a must see exhibitor presentation. Hosted by Philip Norfolk, Ambersphere's Sales Director, the audience will be treated to a demonstration of what MA Lighting's grandMA2 series of products can do with a lighting system. As Norfolk explains, "With more and more live events working on the MA Lighting platform PLASA Focus: Leeds seems a good place to talk about some real practical benefits as to why this control system is used by so many. Anyone unfamiliar with MA will gain an understanding of a networked system and why that might be useful. Rather than using networking as yet another slightly pointless buzz word, MA Lighting sees the network approach as being at the heart of their lighting control and industry practitioners will learn a little about that."

Philip Norfolk returns on the second day of the Programme with a presentation to entice anyone curious about how exactly lights work and in particular how that is harnessed in the moving light sector in Clay Paky and the Laws of Physics! Norfolk uses the staggering light output of the legendary Sharpy and the new Sharpy Wash when compared to their modest lamp wattages to investigate if Clay Paky have actually discovered a way to rewrite the laws of physics. Not sure about the 1st law of thermodynamics? Want a better understanding of all the optical bits in a modern light and how that affects the bright dot on the wall? Register for your free session today and discover that physics can be fun!

Getting serious about audio now, d&b audiotechnik kick off the programme for sound designers, engineers and technicians. Join Oran Burns, from Education & Application Support at d&b audiotechnik, to examine the journey of sound from the loudspeaker to the human ear. Demystifying Audio Techniques is a practical, interactive session designed to guide the audience through the principles of acoustics to discover what constitutes a well-behaved loudspeaker and how it affects what we hear. This is a thoroughly refreshing approach to the basics that underpin all pro-audio technology - not to be missed!

Even if you think you know all there is to know about loudspeaker cabinets reserving a seat at Why Size Matters? would be more than worthwhile. Steve Jones, from Application Support & Education at d&b audiotechnik, explores how the size of a loudspeaker can affect its directivity, the direct to reverberant ratio and the level at the back of the room. Using a combination of lively discussion, practical experiments and visual support, the audience will gain a real understanding of what 'loudspeaker throw' actually means. A presentation that is geared as much to brushing up skills for the experienced audio professional as it is for those new to the game.

In Creative Manipulation of Sounds award winning sound designer Gareth Fry will demonstrate some of the techniques he uses to mangle and process sound effects, ranging from making a sound effect sound more distant, to creating something weird and wonderful. Gareth is chairman of the Association of Sound Designers and has a number of accolades to his name including winning the 2009 Olivier Award for National Theatre of Scotland's much lauded "Black Watch" and the 2007 Olivier Award for "Waves" at the National Theatre. Gareth was also the Soundscape Designer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Look out for more information about our very special key note speaker along with other seminars, demonstrations and presentations in the coming weeks. All sessions are free to attend. To get more details on the sessions of your choice, register as a visitor or to find out more about what's on offer at PLASA Focus: Leeds 2013 go to: now.

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.