Backstage Academy's successful PLASA debut

Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Backstage Academy's successful PLASA debutThe Academy received enquiries relating to its many short courses
UK - PLASA 2011 was reportedly a "highly successful" event for first time exhibitor Backstage Academy.

The new industry-led training centre, based at the LS-Live rehearsal studios in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, registered the interest of over 250 students who visited the stand between 11-14 September. The Academy received enquiries relating to its many short courses in backstage skills, Apple-based technologies or Avid training.

It also grabbed attention for its new 15-month Foundation Degree in Live Events Production, with several students signing up for an interview for the forthcoming course this November, for which there are a few places remaining.

Said chief operating officer Robin Watkinson, "We were bowled over by the flurry of activity surrounding our stand at PLASA. Even though it was our first time exhibiting here, a lot of people and companies in the industry had already heard of us."

The Academy approached the show as an opportunity to network with manufacturers across all disciplines, forming and developing relationships with people keen to get involved in the FdA in Live Events Production in particular. Over 20 exhibitors, including those from overseas, signed up to help in the delivery of the course, from providing equipment, to carrying out one or two day's training and offering to help students gain experience out on live events.

"The large majority of people we spoke to were excited by the sound of the industry-led course model, which allows us to keep course material up to date with current trends in the industry," commented Watkinson.

"We didn't have time to get round everybody, but we're open to discussion with anyone who thinks they can provide a valuable input into our training offer. We were also approached by several manufacturers who would like us to write bespoke courses for their employees or R&D staff."

Backstage Academy exhibited in partnership with Jigsaw Systems, the UK's largest distributor of Apple and Adobe products. The two companies ran a joint competition for the first three days of the show, when a lucky visitor won an iPod and a £50 voucher for one of the Academy's short courses.

(Jim Evans)

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