ABTT’s emphasis on training and education was demonstrated by the wide-ranging seminar programme which accompanied the event, but the highlight was the ABTT Dinner staged on the first evening where Major Sir Michael Parker, famed for his work on such events as the Royal Tournament and more recently All the Queens Horses, was the guest speaker. The Awards announced during the Dinner recognized the work of sound designer Andrew Bruce of Autograph Sound who collected a Lifetime Achievement Award, whilst the Technician of the Year award went to Nick Wade, chief electrician at the Birmingham Royal Ballet. In the technology categories, Vari-Lite’s VL1000 won Lighting Product of the Year, AVW’s Impresario stage motion control system was voted Engineering Product of the Year and Rosco’s Image Pro picked up the coveted Widget of the Year award.
Prior to the show, the Theatre Engineering and Architecture 2002 conference took place at which technology and architecture for the performing arts was examined. Presented in the Strand Palace Hotel in London's Theatreland, the conference brought together theatre technicians, architects, consultants, lighting designers and acousticians, as well as building owners, cost consultants and project managers. An average of some 280 delegates and speakers each day from over 20 countries attended and heard papers from, and held discussions with, leading experts. Having increased the capacity of the venue from an original 220, the total delegate attendance was around 330.
More than 100 papers were presented in 30 sessions over the three days under the headings Engineering and Technology, Architecture and Planning and Operations and Practice. The selection of topics, quality of the papers and speakers and the organization of the event has received high praise from many of those who attended. The proceedings have been recorded and plans are in hand for these to be published, along with available visual material, later in the year. A full report on the ABTT Show will appear in the July issue of Lighting&Sound International.