The PLASA08 exhibition received a record number of attendees to the four-day event this year enjoying an 11 per cent growth in visitor figures compared to PLASA07.
More than 13,500 international and local visitors attended the show, which the organisers, PLASA Events, said reflected an exceptional level of visitor pre-registration and growth in new and returning exhibitors to an expanded show floor.
“The show’s success was due to a combination of factors,” said PLASA’s director of events Nicola Rowland.
She said the PLASA08 show was boosted by a targeted marketing campaign combined with special online registration that highlighted the event’s growing popularity to a broadening range of exhibitors; an increased number of new product launches than in 2007; an expanded educational programme 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,” Rowland claimed.
She said PLASA08 also marked the start of the run-up to London 2012, with the British capital the official Olympics host city and many of the companies involved in Beijing’s spectacular opening and closing ceremonies were on hand at PLASA08.
New technology trends were evident 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 prestigious 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 Mayor of London’s Office for the Green Theatre: Taking Action on Climate Change initiative, was also launched at PLASA.
The show witnessed another audio ‘world first’ with the simultaneous international launches of four major 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.
Rowland said the anticipation of these “major” new technologies led to a build-up in excitement prior to the event, which was reflected in the visitor attendance.
She added that this was more than equalled by the “record-breaking levels of interest in PLASA08’s seminar programme”, which featured more than 40 seminars, many of them full to capacity.