Round Table Sessions Address Industry Issues
Monday, 2 September 2002
L&SI is running two Round Table discussion sessions during next week’s PLASA Show (September 8-11, Earls Court 1, London) designed to address some of the most central issues in the industry.

The first session Freelance Rates - Due for Review? This discussion should prove to be a lively debate on the current levels of freelance rates, which over the years have shown a downward trend in real terms. With many rental companies naming their daily rates, how can those who actually do the work and keep said companies successful lobby for more money? Should there be a flat rate according to role? Who should take responsibility for change? Will rental houses come unstuck by causing their crews to form a union-style body, or should they take the lead and move things on themselves?

Chaired by L&SI technical editor James Eade, the panel will include Mark David-Gray of BECTU and freelancers from the industry.

The second session, Discounting Rental Rates: Is it Economic Madness? will look at discounting in rental markets, and how companies may be devaluing the services they provide in their attempts to undercut competitors. What has happened to healthy payback returns? Are rental companies becoming investors in the fortunes of the shows or events they provide equipment for? Not only can freelance crew suffer as budgets are squeezed, but there is also an ultimate knock-on effect to the manufacturers and distributors who are pushed to drop prices, enabling some kind of return to be made on ever lower equipment rentals. Where are the actual savings made? Crew costs? Longer equipment paybacks? Lower spec gear? Is there a way out of this downward spiral? The Freelance Rates session takes place on Monday 9 September at 3pm whilst the Discounting Rental Rates session will follow on Tuesday 10 September at 3pm. Both are free to attend and will run in the Westminster Room on the Mezzanine Level of Earls Court 1. However, we need you to register, so once at Earls Court go to the L&SI stand in the New Technology Gallery to sign up.

The two Round Table sessions are part of a wider seminar and masterclass programme which looks at trends and developments across a range of industry sectors. On Monday 9 September, Installation Europe magazine sponsors the opening Masterclass, which will focus on Installation, Systems Design & Systems Integration.

On Tuesday 10 September, PLASA’s first ever Breakfast Seminar will give an overview of the innovative grid ceiling and hall division feature within Earls Court 1 itself. Leisure Media, in association with the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) will then present sessions later that day on Themed Leisure Environments. These will look at the designs for visitor attractions and examine the use of special effects and AV technology. Also on Tuesday, the Institute of Sound & Communication Engineers will present two sessions, titled AFILS and Amplifiers and Intelligibility, Intelligence and Intelligent - there is a Difference.

Wednesday 11 September will see sessions presented by AV magazine on AV and Corporate Presentation - including sessions on the latest technology in the corporate presentation, events and retail sectors.Tickets for these sessions can be obtained from the Box Office in the Foyer Area of EC1.

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