Rainmaker, the Sussex-based corporate, industrial, special event and theatrical lighting design specialist, has enjoyed a busy Autumn, producing ideas, equipment and crew for a raft of high profile clients. In Greece, the company worked on a job for production company Purchasepoint with Novartis Pharmaceuticals at the Astir Palace Resort, Athens. Closer to home, it also provided lighting and production for a prestigious one-off charity evening with the English National Ballet at The Mansion House, the Lord Mayor's London residence. Finally, the company's Jim Hepplewhite presented an eye-catching creative lighting scheme for a recent conference in Hall 1 of the ICC, Birmingham for supermarket giants Tesco.
The Leisure Industry Week exhibition (LIW) took place at the NEC in Birmingham from 28-30 September, attracting a record 24,622 visitors to its halls. The show featured a Leisure Hospitality area covering catering and food service, entertainments, and leisure facilities management. Special features included the Star Wars Bar, the working nightclub Club Chameleon (created by Creative Technical Systems and designers Prolyte) and LIW's Cyber Cafe.
SIEL 2000 looks set to welcome around 300 exhibitors to Hall 3 at the Paris Expo-Porte de Versailles from 6-9 February 2000. For the first time, the event will be divided into two distinct shows, with SIEL Entertainment covering theatre, pro audio and events, and SIEL Night & Show catering for the nightlife industry in Hall 3.1. The Country of Honour for 2000 will be Great Britain, and PLASA, together with the DTI, are responsible for organising the British Pavilion that will group together around 20 British companies.
Following research carried out by international brokers Goldman Sachs, which forecasts that the value of business conducted via the Internet in the next four years will amount to £1trillion, the publishers of Internet Business magazine are staging the UK's first two-day conference aimed at managers who want to take advantage of business opportunities offered by the Internet. The event, being held in Brighton from 7-8 December 1999, will include a conference, a dedicated Internet exhibition and a workshop programme. The conference will feature panel sessions, Q&A sessions and interactive technology to answer delegates' questions.
Organised by the National Aids Trust for those directly affected by HIV and Aids, the Celebration of Life concert takes place on Wednesday December 1 (World Aids Day) at Covent Garden Market on the West Piazza. The Trust have contacted PLASA in the hope that companies within our industry might support the event by providing technical equipment. If you would like to help, contact the National Aids Trust in London on 0171-814 6748.
Lighting director Victor Fable used a new Virtuoso lighting control console from Vari-Lite for September's MTV Video Music Awards, which took place in New York. Using a Virtuoso for just the second time, Fable worked closely with lighting designer Allen Branton and lighting directors Tom Beck and Michael Goodwin for the live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House. With a rig of moving lights including VL4, VL7, VL7B, VL5B, VL6 and VL6B luminaires, Fable found that the Virtuoso made his job easier. "It actually made doing a large show much easier than if I had used an Artisan console. I would have had to put the show on two separate Artisan desks and run them both, whereas Virtuoso handled 440 channels easily and managed it all quite well."He continued: "Virtuoso allowed me to load up many more chases and break up the show much more effectively and quickly. The ability to have more than the Artisan console's four submaster capacity was a lifesaver. On this show I used 16 submasters and broke it up into four areas and effects. I used a lot of macros to load in effects and I used a lot of snapshots, whether I was programming or playing back."
The APRS will act as a sponsor of the Joint Venture with British Trade International for the 108th AES Convention (19-22 February 2000) in Paris. UK exhibitors receive 60% of their space and construction expenses up to a ceiling of £2,300 and are eligible to exhibit with Government funding at AES Europe events twice within any given ten-year period, irrespective of where the exhibition is held. In addition to the Government funding, companies that have never exhibited previously on a UK delegation will receive a complimentary research package from British Trade International giving special pointers as to where to find export-related help, advice and information which should assist with their exporting efforts to the whole of Europe.
Earls Court Exhibition Centre (home to the PLASA Show) and sister venue Olympia have been sold by the P&O Group to an acquisition vehicle backed by Candover and the Morris family for £183 million. Included in the sale are P&O Events, the organisers of PLASA, P&O Exhibition Services, which provides exhibition services to exhibitors and specialist catering business Beeton Rumford. The net consideration for the sale will be settled in cash, plus a £20 million loan note repayable over 10 years. Candover is a private equity company, whilst the Morris family owns City Industrial Limited which operates The Business Design Centre in Islington, London.
Australasia's leading entertainment technology exhibition, Entech, is set to outstrip all previous Entech events when it opens at the Sydney Olympics site in Homebush Bay, 5-7 March 2000. Show organisers Connections report that sales have already exceeded those of Entech 98, with six months still to go. The show now occupies over 120,000sq.ft of floorspace at the new Sydney Showground and exhibition centre.Features of Entech 2000 will include the opening night's Carnivale under the stars, the Boulevard of Light, and the PA system shoot-out, while daily lighting comparison seminars will also be held, and technical tours of the nearby 110,000-seater Olympic Stadium will be available.The DTI has now offered PLASA funding for a trade mission to Entech 2000 for UK exporters. Under the terms of the offer, British Trade International (BTI), will cover 60% of exhibitors' space and construction expenses, up to a ceiling of £2,300. Anyone interested in taking advantage of this offer should contact Anna Pillow at the PLASA Office, firstname.lastname@example.org
Three of the industry's leading event management companies have just announced that they are to merge. Business Pursuits Event Management, The Ultimate Experience and Richard Groves Catering and Events have been in discussions for the last six months with a view to integrating their operations to form a new £10m plus turnover group that will be uniquely positioned in the UK events market.
Marks & Spencer is set to unveil its latest range in what will be the biggest ever touring retail show in Europe. The event, designed and produced by CJ Spencer Associates, will take place at four shopping centres across the country and to accommodate the show, a state-of-the-art building measuring a staggering 50x30m has been specially created, which will house two 400 seater theatres together with a reception area and smart cloakrooms. Martin Mac 600s Vari-Lite VL5s, Clay Paky StageScans and three Wholehog desks are just part of the impressive lighting spec, whilst a range of d&b speakers, amplifiers and controllers, together with Yamaha and Soundcraft desks, Denon and XTA processing and Shure microphones provide the audio element.
The 1999 Auditorium Acoustics Conference, organised by the Building Acoustics Group, will take place on October 22-24 in Manchester. The conference will review the changes in auditorium design over the century, consider current design and look forward to the future.