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Press Office


30 August 2011

Time to Talk Urges PLASA CEO

According to data released recently, the eurozone economy has slipped closer to stagnation and there are growing fears of a double dip recession. Financial reports show that the region's manufacturing sector has contracted for the first time since September 2009 and growth is slowing across the board, however many companies in our industry report healthy order books and busy diaries.

Against a background of such uncertainty, PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths suggests there has never been a more important time to talk to each other. "When financial experts are sceptical about future economic growth, we have to take note and be prepared for market changes. Fortunately, this is a strong industry that performs well and understands how to innovate. It's also thankfully one that believes in openly discussing issues, so it's encouraging that people want to discuss what the next 12 months could hold for businesses, and especially manufacturers.

"The difficulty we face as an industry is knowing which forecasters are right and which data to trust. Who is employing? Who is specifying? Who is buying? Where is business growth coming from?

"Our collective strength and our ability to communicate is therefore more important than ever. In 2009 and 2010 we were left in no doubt as to the importance of our working relationships. Faced with difficult decisions, buyers thought very carefully about who they did business with and what was important to them. Relationships are going to be absolutely key in the 12 months ahead, and I urge every member of our industry to come to PLASA in London between 11- 14 September, to talk to clients, contacts and suppliers."

Griffiths continues: "The PLASA Show is unique in that in pulls in people from all sectors of the industry. You can talk to people across the piece, discuss with manufacturers how they can help you to grow your business, strengthen old relationships, meet with new people and engage with the thought-provoking content presented by the respected partners we work with."

New networking hubs abound at this year's PLASA 2011. The new Production Bar in EC2 is specifically aimed at the production industry and sponsored by Pearce Hire and PRG. The STLD LED Shoot Out is an interactive feature area which aims to answer the question 'is it possible to light a TV set entirely with LED fixtures', one part of a line-up of related events in which visitors can get actively involved. The Theatres Trust Ecovenue feature showcases the sustainable practices of participating London theatres, whilst the Audio Think Tank area, hosted by FOH supremo Dave Swallow, is a new place for sound engineers to talk about everything from top tips to hot topics.

The PLASA Rigging Conference has amassed a whopping 40 international speakers and panellists all keen to have their say. Plus, if you're looking for Q&As, discussion and thought leadership, PLASA 2011 features four free days of education and learning. Headed by a Masterclass from Fred Foster of ETC, essential audio, lighting, AV and stage technology programmes are delivered by our partners InfoComm International, Technologies for Worship, The Theatres Trust, ALD, the National Skills Academy, ABTT, ISCE, Julie's Bicycle and STLD, plus special seminars presented by RG Jones, the RSC, the Royal Opera House and many more.

"Anyone thinking twice about attending PLASA 2011 this year should think again - there really is no better place to be this September," concludes Griffiths.

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.