PLASA '09: Ten to watch

Ten exhibitors you shouldn't miss at this year's show.
Green Hippo.
Green Hippo.

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This month’s PLASA exhibition in London is shaping up as a veritable smorgasbord of new professional lighting, staging and audio technologies. S&S turns the spotlight on 10 companies you shouldn’t miss at this year’s show.

Company: Showtex
Market sector: Truss covers and set design.
Local distribution: Direct from manufacturer: www.showtex.com
Stand: 2-M22

If it’s made of fabric and found on stage at a live or in-studio production in the Middle East, chances are it’s manufactured by Showtex.

Fabrics, canvases, accessories, curtain tracks, mirror and projection foils, and ShowLED starcloths, feature within this manufacturer’s arsenal. The company’s MENA headquarters is located at Sharjah’s Airport Free Zone in the UAE.

Company: Green Hippo
Market sector: Media servers and production content.
Local distribution: Direct from manufacturer, www.green-hippo.com
Stand: 2-R18

Green Hippo’s Hippotizer media server has received widespread praise from lighting designers in the Middle East.

The latest Hippotizer software update includes new colour correction options and support for Matrox’s dual and triple head to-go output extenders.

Green Hippo has also installed two hidden video games for the general amusement of production folks.

Company: Neutrik
Market sector: Audio cable connectors and electronic interconnection products.
Local distribution: NMK Electronics (UAE), Abu Moammar Trading (Saudi Arabia), Eltek (Lebanon), Qatar Neon (Qatar).
Stand: 1-H18

Connection specialist Neutrik will showcase its revamped range of opticalCON fibre-optic data connection systems at this year’s exhibition.

The range consists of the Duo two-channel hybrid and the Quad four-channel system.

In addition to the opticalCON systems, Neutrik recently released a series of lockable connectors, dubbed etherCON, which it claims are perfect for professional audio, video and lighting digital network applications.

Company: DTS Lighting
Market sector: Architectural, professional and event lighting.
Local distribution: V.V. & Sons (UAE)
Stand: 1-E42

Despite the economic downturn, 2009 has proven a big year for lighting manufacturer DTS.

In recent months, the company’s products have been deployed at a number of live events, demonstrating the versatility and popularity of its technology.

It has also released a range of products in the lead up to PLASA ’09, including the XR 1200 wash, the XR 2000 spot (CMY) and the XR 2000 beam fixtures. DTS also manufactures architectural lighting projectors, follow spots and theatre projectors.

Company: Sennheiser
Market sector: Pro audio solutions
Local distribution: Venuetech (UAE).
Stand: 1-F10

Sennheiser will demonstrate its G3 Evolution series wireless microphones at PLASA, in addition to the new WiCOS stand alone wireless conference system.

The full range of recently revamped 2000 Series professional wireless microphone technologies, which are primarily designed for broadcast applications, will also be displayed on the company’s stand.

Depending on the UHF range, 2000 Series products have a switching bandwidth of up to 72 MHz, providing up to 64 compatible frequency presets for microphones and up to 32 for monitoring systems.

Company: Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC)
Market sector: Professional lighting solutions
Local distribution: Oasis Enterprises (UAE), Nile Tec (Egypt), Al Diwan United Trading Co (Kuwait).
Stand: 1-G39

Theatre lighting control specialist ETC will showcase its SmartBar2 portable DMX512A dimming bars; the Selador next-generation LED fixtures; the Element lighting control desk designed for smaller theatrical venues; and its Unison Mosaic special effects solution.

Company: Robe Lighting
Market sector: Event lighting
Local distribution: GSL Professional (UAE), Robe Middle East.
Stand: 1-F47

Robe’s Robin 300E spot and wash moving heads and the Robin 300 plasma spot will spearhead the company’s product assault at PLASA.

The fixtures feature Phillips light sources and boast a colour rendering index of 75 and 2000 hours of lamp life.

Other new lighting products will include the ColorSpot 2500E AT, the ColorWash 2500E AT and the full range of RED LED products.

Company: Martin Professional
Market sector: Professional lighting solutions
Local distribution: Venuetech (UAE), Hawa Audio Design (Syria), Amac (Lebanon), Spectrum (Jordan), Media Int (Egypt), AV Solutions (Iraq), Adawliah Universal (Kuwait).
Stand: 1-F44

Martin will debut a range of new products at this year’s show, with the highlight being three new additions to its MAC lighting range. The MAC 301 Wash is an LED moving head washlight that features a fast zoom function.

The MAC 401 Dual fixture is an LED moving head washlight with an innovative double-sided design for dual functionality in a range of applications.

The MAC 250 Beam is a simple upgrade that adds beam effects to any MAC 250 Wash. The company’s full range of LED digital displays will also be demonstrated on its PLASA stand.

Company: Highlite International
Market sector: Professional lighting solutions
Local distribution: Direct from manufacturer, export@highlite.nl; sales@highlite.nl.
Stand: 1-C40/C42

Highlite recently expanded its LED product range to include the LED Commander, which is a universal controller for DMX LED fixtures. At PLASA, the company will showcase this and other technologies, including the Vision Stick LED bar, which can play high resolution video; the Blinder with Matrix function; and the Indigo 250, which is a powerful and professional moving head spotlight with LED lightsource and light output equal to MSD-250 lightsources.

Company: Shure Professional
Market sector: Pro audio solutions
Local distribution: NMK Electronics (UAE), Amac (Lebanon), Audio Technology (Egypt), Tech Light + Sound (Syria), Adawliah Universal (KSA, Kuwait), Bedimpex (Morocco).
Stand: 1-F19

Shure’s new QSC K series portable, high-powered loudspeakers will spearhead the company’s attack at PLASA ‘09. Other product highlights include the Phonic Summit digital mixer, which is a 16-channel 8-bus digital mixing console with low-noise preamplifiers and fully-automated 100mm faders; Super 55 and PG mics and the SRH headphones for studio monitoring applications.

‘Connection’ is key: PLASA
This year’s Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) will feature a new conference programme aimed at developing business opportunities for the industry’s service providers and consultants.

The programme, dubbed PLASA Connect, will aim to provide businesses with networking opportunities and facilitate relationship-building between clients and suppliers.

Among the market areas to be targeted in the scheme are hotel groups, building services companies, houses of worship, council chambers, theatres and arts centres, performing arts schools, IT service companies and environmental health officers.

Organised in conjunction with RH Consulting, PLASA Connect will take place during the exhibition which is set to run from Septeber 13-16 at Earls Court, London.

“We’re targeting people who have to purchase or hire lighting, AV, audio and staging equipment as part of their role, but who may have no idea of the range and quality of service providers who could help them, or how to reach them,” explained Nicola Rowland, events director, PLASA.

“For the service providers and consultants who buy into this scheme, we’re offering a sophisticated route to new markets,” she claimed.

“We are very excited by this initiative because we believe it brings an opportunity for real business development – something which is currently at the forefront of every business person’s thinking.”

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