PLASA, the lead association for the entertainment technology industry, ran a second online programme from 10-13 May, covering the most vital topics and trends for those who work across live events and entertainment sectors.
Following the successful debut PLASA Online in October 2020, PLASA Online 2021 attracted thousands of industry professionals who signed up to watch the four-day programme which featured expert panels, technical sessions, and presentations on creative projects and products.
The ABTT partnered with PLASA Online to host popular presentations each day. These included a panel of Health & Safety and production experts who discussed the challenges of returning to work; a talk with CREATEBritain co-founder Richard Woods who introduced the new features of the online platform for creative professionals; the 2020 updates to the Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment; and Volume 1 of The Theatre Green Book, a collaborative publication for making theatre sustainably.
Electrical expert James Eade topped the bill yet again, this time looking at the myths and misunderstandings of electrical safety. He answered several questions and detailed the importance of electrical qualifications, PAT testing requirements, earthing and phase separation.
LSi magazine delivered two well-attended sessions diving into pioneering stage technology: James Simpson, author of the popular LSi column Future Tech, shared some of his favourite recent stories, including light fidelity, spatial displays, the ‘Internet of Things’ and haptic soundwaves; plus Rob Halliday and Ryan Metcalfe presented the CGI production of Romeo + Juliet which was produced using cutting edge digital technology during the pandemic to ensure the cast were kept separate.
Both the technical and creative aspects of lighting were covered, with Wayne Howell of Artistc Licence troubleshooting RDM and DMX512, and lighting designer John Rayment sharing the experiences, lessons and application of technologies in live performance, including his work on the 2000 Sydney Olympic ceremonies.
Not forgetting the most key topics, Brexit, Ecodesign and Covid-19 were addressed in interactive industry panels. PLASA’s MD Peter Heath sat down with representatives from Pearle and Viva La Visa to discuss the impact of Brexit on the touring community, as well as UK and European lighting experts to unpack the final changes made to the Ecodesign legislation. Plus, the #WeMakeEvents steering group shared the latest news and plans from the campaign to save the live events supply chain.
In addition, there were plenty of exciting products on display throughout the programme, including Ayrton demonstrating the new Karif fixture, Shure giving a VIP preview of their new Wireless features, Vectorworks detailing how their Spotlight software can be used at every stage of the event design process, Highlite showing how LAMPY consoles allow you to create a great light show, and Broadweigh teaching the fundamentals of a load measuring system.
Sophie Atkinson, PLASA’s Head of Events, commented, “Despite still having to wait for the full return of live events and entertainment, I hope that our second PLASA Online delivered the information and inspiration you were looking for in these still uncertain times. I welcome you to re-watch the sessions on demand and the PLASA team looks forward to welcoming you to PLASA Show in September from 5-7 September at Olympia London!”
The PLASA Online programme will remain available to watch online. Find out more at: www.plasaleeds.com/plasa-online.