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PLASA London 2013 Enjoys Success at Excel
PLASA London 2013 proved a great success with exhibitors and visitors alike at its new home at ExCeL London. Over 11,000 visitors (subject to ABC audit) attended the show, of whom over 3,000 attended on multiple days. International interest was high, with more than 2,200 visitors from 84 countries. Stand rebookings for next year’s show are also up on last year, and several major companies that did not make the move to ExCeL – including Philips Entertainment - have either already signed up for 2014 or are in serious talks to return.
Chris Toulmin, head of events, PLASA London 2013, said: “The response we’ve received to PLASA London 2013 has been overwhelmingly positive, both from visitors and exhibitors. They have embraced the new venue and also enjoyed the new features such as the AudioLab Arena, Theatre and Interactive. The PLASA team has worked very hard to get to this point, and while we acknowledge that we have more work to do – in certain areas of the exhibition - we feel it has provided a great starting point for the future development of the show and are excited by the possibilities before us.”
James King, director of marketing, Martin Audio, said: “We enjoyed a very good show, with anyone that was interested in Pro Audio flocking to our stand. Our competitors missed a trick by not being there this year.”
Mick Hannaford, managing director, Robe UK, said: “The venue is a massive improvement - the outside space and cafes by the river were paramount to the overall feeling of the show and the customer experience, and visitors also commented on the accessibility and easiness. The show floor looked really good, it was easy to navigate and signage was much more concise, and there was a constant stream of people to the booth. We are really happy and have already rebooked for 2014.”
Glyn O’Donoghue, managing director, Ambersphere, said: “PLASA London 2013 was a very positive experience for us. Attendance was very good, our stand was rammed for most of the show and we’ve heard similar things from other exhibitors.”
Malcolm Burlow, sales director UK & Ireland, Highlite International, said: “It was probably our best show in six years, with a much better quality of leads. The venue was outstanding with friendly, helpful staff – a breath of fresh air! It’s one helluva venue and PLASA now has so much potential for growth.”
Kim Brant, director at SES Entertainment Services said: “It’s been a really good show – better than the Earls Court days. ExCeL is a proper exhibition hall with nice views and good facilities. We’ve certainly been busier here than last year at Earls Court. Our bigger, more open stand has really helped encourage people to visit us and spend more time with us. It’s helped us that none of our competition was here this year – they’re missing out!”
James Leach European marketing manager at Sony Professional Europe commented: “It’s been really good. We’ve seen a huge number of visitors to the stand and a good mix of people. Our focus has been on how we can offer ‘the Sony solution’ as a whole – from hand-held cameras, to studio products and with audio thrown into the mix. Visitors have been drawn to visit us due to knowing us as a camera manufacturer, but they have then shown interest in all the add-ons and other solutions we can provide. We’ve had some good conversations with sound designers, sound engineers and musicians. Our new Anycast product has proven very popular and is an important string to our bow. It’s a portable, all-in-one product for live events and has attracted massive interest during the show.”
Peter Sturt, marketing manager, Lee Filters: “It’s been a good show; we like the new venue and have already signed up for next year!”
Philip Sparkes, managing director, Maltbury: “We prefer ExCeL (to Earls Court). It definitely feels nicer here. At Earls Court the show always felt hyper intense, whereas here it’s a bit airier, the temperature is better and the get-in was a dream. We’ve had a positive response from visitors here, much better than we’ve had from different shows throughout the year even. We’ve got an interesting range and number of leads.”
Phil Ion, director, Core: “We’ve had a very good show. We’ve been incredibly busy this year at the show. It’s probably been our busiest year ever in terms of business leads and quality visitors. We’ve even got a lot more immediate business out of the show, which is unusual.”
Definition Group, whose staff visited the show, said: “PLASA London is an opportunity for us to meet the people we do business with all year round and provides our new staff with a much deeper appreciation of the scale and technology on offer today. Well done to the PLASA Events Team for a job truly well executed, we filled our minds and hearts to capacity and we'll be back in 2014!”
The brand new AudioLab 2013 feature was a big draw for audio professionals. Nearly 5,000 visitors were treated to demonstrations and shoot-outs of the latest technology, including the first public showcase of Pioneer’s new club speakers, in the purpose-built AudioLab Arena, which was sponsored by Medialease and supported by Roland as Technical Partner. The AudioLab Interactive sessions attracted more than 600 visitors who watched the PLASA ‘boffins’ push audio technologies to their limits, while the AudioLab Theatre welcomed over 1000 visitors to some fantastic sessions on a wide variety of sound issues, from the cross-over of live sound and broadcast audio to valuable tips on how to sound check.
The Professional Development Programme proved more popular than ever, featuring many sessions that were standing room only. Visitors enjoyed case studies on large-scale events such as Eurovision 2013, Glastonbury’s Arcadia Stage and the Super Bowl Half-Time Show. There was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the staging of the new production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a thought-provoking discussion on the ‘revolutionary times’ of the National Theatre, celebrating its 50th anniversary, and a broad range of practical sessions on entertainment technology.
The 275 exhibitors kept the show floor entertained with interactive demonstrations, dancing balls of light and even an animatronic camel! New Product launches included Focusrite’s RedNet range of Dante powered audio networking interfaces, the Le Mark Dirty Rigger LED series gloves, Avid’s UK debut of the new Avid S3L live sound system, and Roland’s VR-50HD all-in-one AV Mixer with outputs for web streaming and recording.
The PLASA Awards for Innovation, sponsored by Lighting & Sound International magazine, congratulated 10 worthy winners for the development of technologies and products that advance the industry by demonstrating a new style of thinking, improving technical practice or taking a key step forward in terms of safety. Other award ceremonies held during PLASA London 2013 included the Knight of Illumination Awards, celebrating excellence in lighting design, and the inaugural Technical Theatre Awards, rewarding those unsung heroes behind the scenes in technical theatre roles.
The 4th annual Rigging Conference which ran alongside PLASA London 2013 on 7-8 October was a great success, with 140 delegates in attendance representing 15 countries. The conference was opened by a highly engaging key-note delivered by industry legend Robin Elias of Unusual Rigging, and for the first time ever the event covered structures as well as rigging issues, which proved very popular.
London 2013 thanks its sponsors: Platinum Sponsor Robe Lighting, Gold Sponsor Martin Professional, and Silver Sponsor Clay Paky.
PLASA London 2014 returns to ExCeL on 5-8 October 2014.
16th October 2013
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