This year’s PLASA Show, held at London Olympia, was busier than ever with a six per cent increase in overall attendance, as managing director of the event, Peter Heath, tells us. From an increased focus on pro audio to new initiatives like Stage to Studio – an opportunity to watch and take part in legendary engineers Simon Todkill and Jamie McEvoy’s mixing sessions with live musicians – and an immersive AV presentation on living with bipolar called ‘Blackout’, this year’s show was certainly treading new and exciting ground. Here, we hear from Peter Heath on his thoughts about this year’s turnout…
How did PLASA Show 2019 rank among the shows you’ve presided over as MD?
I can confidently say this year’s show truly was ‘the best yet’ since I have worked as managing director. I joined PLASA in 2016 – the same year we moved the show from Excel to London Olympia – and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved as a team in the last four years.
Each year we’ve seen an increase in visitors – and this year didn’t disappoint with a six per cent increase in overall attendance, welcoming over 7,500 people to the show over the three days. We have now filled the upstairs ‘Gallery Level’ of the show, welcomed more audio exhibitors including brands like Coda Audio and Void Acoustics exhibiting for the first time, plus an increased presence from the AV sector.
What was the response like from exhibitors and visitors?
Feedback from the show floor has been fantastic, with exhibitors reporting that they met a wide range of customers, from end-users to consultants and specifiers, with some taking orders straight off the show floor. One comment we always receive from exhibitors is how strong the networking element of the show is, being a central London show it means this can continue late into the evenings.
From a visitor perspective, we saw a significant increase in people returning each day – many attending for all three days. That’s a good indicator to us of the quality of the show, from the breadth of exhibitors to our show features and quality seminar content.
What were your personal highlights?
Walking around the show, talking to our exhibitors and seeing business being done on the show floor is a fantastic feeling. However, as a self-proclaimed audiophile and musician, the Stage to Studio feature was a particular highlight. The sessions saw two artists, VC Pines and Effie performing and being mixed live by renowned sound engineers Jamie McEvoy and Simon Todkill respectively. We worked with some prominent brands to create that feature, including Sound on Sound, Headliner magazine and Miloco Studios, and the result was an enjoyable and educational feature for our visitors that raised our profile in the recording and studio industries.
For the full exclusive interview and to find out more about PLASA 2020 please see our October issue, the digital copy of which will be online in the coming weeks.