Understandably, the horrific events in New York and Washington cast a shadow over the Show, not least because of the large number of American exhibitors and visitors who always support the event. The shock of the news was felt widely across the show floor, but it quickly turned to a resolve to keep the Show open and a determination that business should go ahead as usual.
Attendance figures were boosted 4.5% on last year’s event as 13,373 visitors (subject to ABC audit) attended the spectacular four-day show to witness the unveiling of the industry’s latest innovations. Of these visitors, an amazing 25% were international. Results of an exit survey showed that over 80% of visitors to this year’s Show felt that PLASA was the Show to view leading edge entertainment technology and new product launches. Highly respected as the international entertainment and technology exhibition, PLASA provided a platform for nearly 350 manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to present their very latest products, innovations and designs and to strike valuable business deals. From state-of-the-art sound systems, spectacular lighting effects, staging concepts and fog machines to audio-visual equipment, trussing and the very latest in DJ decks, PLASA 2001 featured something for everyone.
It represented more than just a place to see the latest entertainment technology. A series of daily educational Masterclass Programmes allowed delegates to attend seminars addressing different aspects of the industry. This year the Masterclasses focused on the fields of special effects, architectural installations and audio and corporate presentations, and included an impressive line-up of speakers, all of whom were experts in their fields. Commenting on the success of the Masterclass Programmes, show director Sue Silsby said: "The Masterclasses were an enormous hit with delegates, most notably the Special Effects seminar conducted by WOW!Works’ Chief Effects Artist, Tylor Wymer. A massive 65 delegates registered to attend his impressive presentation and interactive workshop."
Furthermore, visitors to the New Technology Gallery (sponsored by Lighting&Sound International) were able to view new, innovative industry products, which were entered in the PLASA Product Awards for Excellence. Over 56 new products were nominated for the Awards and six of them walked off with top honours. See separate news item.
Sunday, 9 September saw the popular Extreme V DJ competition, which gave young hopefuls the chance to enter the competitive world of DJ’ing. Over 50 youngsters queued to audition, but it was talented DJ Scratch-Mo (aka Angelo Tun) who wowed the crowds and walked off with the winner’s trophy. Renowned Pioneer-backed DJ, Roger Sanchez, was amongst the popular DJs to make a special appearance at the Show. He said: "It is an honour to be at PLASA, the biggest entertainment technology show in the UK. I do one show a year and PLASA is the one I chose to be at. There are also a lot more young people coming to the show, especially on DJ Sunday and it’s great to see the massive interest in DJing."
The Show received overwhelming support from its exhibitors. "Our stand has been particularly popular this year," said Martin Professional’s international marketing manager, Laurie Jane Greene. "We have had a lot more visitors on our stand, particularly international visitors, than in previous years and continue to view PLASA as the foremost European lighting and sound exhibition," she added. Relative new-comer to the PLASA Show, Lagotronics, a manufacturer of show control systems, boasted significant sales. CEO, Carlo Gortjes said: "It is amazing how crowded our stand has been. PLASA has been the best trade fair for us ever as we have conducted h