3 May 2013
The Sun Shines at PLASA Focus: Leeds 2013
Building on an unparalleled figure of pre-registrations, PLASA Events welcomed a record number of visitors at the Royal Armouries this week as PLASA Focus: Leeds 2013 opened its doors for two days of unique access to the newest and most innovative products on the market.
As the sun came out in Leeds, visitor numbers broke all previous records, hitting a total of 2376 over the two days - an increase of nearly 12% on 2012 - demonstrating once again the size, strength and enthusiasm of the entertainment technology community in the north of England.
Amongst the many companies unveiling new products to the UK were Martin Professional, showing the first luminaire from RUSH, their new effects lighting product range, and White Light presented the latest CORE Lighting ColourPoint LED uplighter, whilst Artistic Licence premiered their new range of smart modular dimmers, sunDial along with the bladeRunner two, one of the first products available for OLED dimming.
Innovation from the pro audio industry was much in evidence as JoeCo unveiled the latest software update - version 2.2.7x - for the award-winning BlackBox, the MLA Mini was the centre piece at Martin Audio’s stand, and Midas chose to release their new Generation 2.1 software. Software developments were also in evidence at d&b audiotechnik where the ArrayCalc Version 7 attracted a lot of interest and Stephen Hogg was busy with customers from first thing on Tuesday. “We came here a couple of years ago to check it out and it was immediately apparent that a presence would be more than worthwhile. The size of the show lends itself to a particularly convivial atmosphere but it has been busy - really busy: I haven’t stopped talking to visitors all day.”
Le Maitre presented two new machines to the UK market: the HazeMaster and the canister flame effect unit, the Salamander. In other specialist areas, Triple E were showcasing the newly enhanced HiSpeed Roll Up hardware system for fast screen motion and their improved EasyDrape system, while drape experts J&C Joel were showcasing their designer range of materials, aimed at productions looking for a glitzy accent to their shows. Head of marketing Claire Taylforth comments, “There’s always a great buzz here. If anything we have been even busier than last year - if that’s possible!”
Perhaps one of the biggest customers visiting PLASA Focus in Leeds was David Graham from Sound Division, who was sourcing equipment for three new venues. One of these projects is a technical refit of renowned nightclub Boujis, and the other two are new restaurants currently taking shape inside The Shard, the iconic new tower at London Bridge designed by Renzo Piano. Graham was at PLASA Focus to place £80,000 worth of orders for a variety of LED lighting equipment, loudspeaker and audio processing systems from PLASA Focus exhibitors.
The seminars and presentations of the Professional Development Programme proved to be as a big a draw as ever. The wide variety of sessions offered something of interest for everyone: from product demonstrations for consoles from Ambersphere and Avolites and interactive sessions that explore the basics of pro audio from d&b audiotechnik and renowned sound engineer Jon Burton, to the National Skills Academy and ABTT that focused on education and competency issues. More esoteric issues about what may lie ahead for the industry were expertly explored and discussed by the two Keynote speakers, Professor Harald Haas on Tuesday and by Tony Andrews, ably assisted by Phil Ward, on Wednesday.
There was a strong representation from the education sector from institutions as far afield as the University of Glamorgan to colleges in Cumbria. Students were keen to see demonstrations of new products as well as investigate educational opportunities available to them after completing their BTEC Diplomas. The MD of the newly formed Britannia Row Productions Training, Matthias Postel was equally enthusiastic about the student interest in the event, “We came to Leeds because of our new collaboration with Alchemea College - this is the first time I have been. I’ve been really impressed with whole event. It is much busier than I expected and the atmosphere is unlike anything I have found at other, similar shows.”
Show manager Jen Barratt comments, “I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who came along and supported what was, without a doubt, the best PLASA Focus yet. Judging by the amount of kit sold at the show this year, the North can look forward to some great shows, events and installations over the next twelve months. A special thanks to the speakers for giving up their time; any show that combines knowledge-sharing and new business on that scale is great for the industry and PLASA is proud to be part of it.”
PLASA Focus: Leeds 2014 will take place at the Royal Armouries on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 April 2014. To see the photos from the event, please join the PLASA Focus: EU Facebook page; www.facebook.com/PlasaFocus. The next PLASA Focus event will take place at the Wyndham Orlando Resort, Florida, on 15 & 16 May, 2013.
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.