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Thu 16 Oct 2008 07:20 PM

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PLASA08 turns it on

In the build up to London’s PLASA08, event organisers were guaranteeing a new and improved show.

In the build up to London’s PLASA08, event organisers were guaranteeing a new and improved show. Encouragingly, the verdict from many of the thousands of industry delegates and visitors who attended the event last month was that the show did not disappoint.

PLASA’s director of events, Nicky Rowland says PLASA08 was the most successful show to date, in which the key area of growth was the event’s attendance figures.

Rowland says the promise of an array of new technologies and applications, plus a dramatically expanded educational programme, helped drive the PLASA show to its highest-ever attendance record of over 13,500 visitors from 114 countries.

This is an increase of 11% up from last year’s figures, which Rowland says helped to produce “positive” business deals.

“There was a tremendous amount of positive activity across the show’s floor with many exhibitors and visitors reporting high levels of business. This was a great result given their commitment to the show,”says Rowland.

“Several exhibitors cited the show as their best PLASA ever and James Gordon of DiGiCo said the event was not only the best PLASA he had ever had, but possibly the best show full stop.”

A host of new product launches took place at PLASA08 and she estimated that around 1000 products were showcased during the event, according to Rowland.

While PLASA08 provided a platform for many new technologies, it also witnessed the growth in demand for products which push the boundaries, with an expansion in the variety and sophistication of lighting, video display media, networked audio and data and control systems displayed at the event.

This year’s show increased the level of focus on educational programmes and furthered its investment in industry technologies, says Rowland.

She said that this was highlighted by a multitude of seminars that addressed existing and emerging audio, AV and lighting technologies and their applications, which were hosted by a selection of the industry’s best-known manufacturers, developers and innovators.

“Following the redraw in 2007, we were able to refine the layout, develop the feature areas, introduce an industry skills zone and extended the seminar programme, with most sessions full to capacity,” says Rowland.

As a recognised industry event, PLASA has “a very loyal exhibitor base”, but this year Rowland says the event saw the return of many companies (80%) that had not participated for a while as well as several companies (20%) joining the show for the first time.

“We will work hard in the next 12 months to ensure we continue to provide an exhibition that works for – and invests in – the industry.

“As a result, there’ll be a number of new initiatives, together with enhanced visitor and exhibitor facilities and an extended educational programme for next year’s PLASA,” she states.

“We have a good platform to build on for next year, but we’re never complacent and there are a number of key areas that we intend to work hard on to improve next year’s event.”