Since its debut in 1977, PLASA London has been the world’s premier platform for stage, lighting and pro audio technologies. This year’s event was held for the first time at London’s prestigious ExCeL Centre from 6 to 9 October 2013.

PLASA London 2013 was a great success for both exhibitors and visitors at its new home at ExCeL London. More than 11 000 visitors attended the show this year, of whom over 3 000 visited on multiple days. The show attracted high international interest, with more than 2 200 visitors from 84 countries. Stand re-bookings for next year’s show are up on last year, and several major companies that did not make the move to ExCeL have either already signed up for 2014 or are seriously contemplating their return.

Chris Toulmin, head of events, PLASA London 2013, says: “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, we feel it has provided a great starting point for the future development of the show and are excited by the possibilities before us.’

Feedback from major exhibitors has been reassuring to PLASA organisers not only in terms of the industry’s commitment and belief in the show but also in terms of the move to ExCeL.

James King, director of marketing, Martin Audio, says: “We enjoyed a very good show, with anyone that was interested in Pro Audio flocking to our stand.’
Mick Hannaford, managing director, Robe UK, says: “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.’

Almost 5 000 visitors witnessed demonstrations 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 brand new AudioLab 2013 feature was a huge success and a big drawing card for audio professionals. The AudioLab Interactive sessions attracted more than 600 visitors, while the AudioLab Theatre welcomed over 1 000 visitors to some eye-opening sessions on a variety of sound issues.

The Professional Development Programme saw record-breaking success. Visitors enjoyed case studies on large-scale events including Eurovision 2013, Glastonbury’s Arcadia Stage and the Super Bowl Half-Time Show. There was a behind-the-scenes look at the staging of the new production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an interesting discussion on the “revolutionary times’ of the National Theatre, celebrating its 50th anniversary, as well as practical sessions on entertainment technology.

The show floor was kept constantly buzzing by the 275 exhibitors with everything from interactive demonstrations, dancing balls of light and even an animatronic camel!

The 4th annual Rigging Conference which ran alongside PLASA London 2013 on 7 and 8 October was a great success, with 140 delegates in attendance representing 15 countries. The conference was opened by a truly 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.