PLASA08 saw the debut of new consoles from Midas, Innovason, DiGiCo and Soundcraft.London (September 18, 2008)--Amidst an uncertain economic climate, last week's PLASA08 proved that the entertainment technology industries are still robustly moving ahead, as it posted an 11 percent growth in visitor figures across the event's four days compared to 2007. The 13,000 plus attendance figure was attributed to a sizable visitor pre-registration as well as a growth in new and returning exhibitors to an expanded show floor.
"The show's success was due to a combination of factors," said director of events Nicola Rowland, "in particular a targeted marketing campaign combined with special online registration offers; a growth in exhibitor numbers; even more new product launches than in 2007; a greatly expanded educational program; and improved visitor and exhibitor facilities. Combined with the effort that so many exhibitors made to put on a great show, the overall event was compelling and visitors responded to that."
The show also marked the start of the run-up to London 2012 with the British capital now the official Olympics host city, and many of the companies involved in Beijing's opening and closing ceremonies were on hand at PLASA08.
Technology trends were in evidence across the show floor and in the Innovations Gallery, where the 2008 Awards for Innovation nominees were showcased. PLASA Show newcomer the Royal Shakespeare Company took the first ever Gold Award for its LightLock concept, while Soundtracs/DiGiCo's John Stadius received the Gottelier Award.
For the first time in three years, the independent panel of judges deemed a product worthy of an Environmental Award--the LCD Proteus Display--and in a similar vein, the following day saw the launch by the Mayor of London's Office of the Green Theatre: Taking Action on Climate Change initiative.
The show witnessed another audio 'world first' with the simultaneous international launches of four major new live sound consoles, from DiGiCo, Innovason, Midas and Soundcraft, while a host of new audio installation products reflected the huge growth of the integrated systems market. The lighting and video sectors were rewarded by yet more advances in LED and moving light technology, and stage automation continued to be a significant growth area.
The anticipation of these major new technologies led to a build-up in excitement prior to the event and was reflected in visitor attendance over the four days--which was reportedly almost overwhelming on the Monday. This was more than equalled by record-breaking levels of interest in PLASA08's seminar program, which featured more than 40 seminars, many of them full to capacity. In addition to a whole day of events covering environmental initiatives, focus was also given to the new BS8901 sustainable event management standard, which is expected to have a marked influence on the events industry, not least in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics with London as host city.
The PLASA team is now looking towards PLASA Focus in six months' time, and for PLASA09 there's already a healthy rebooking take-up and, most encouraging of all, a significant number of companies saying they will be returning after an absence.