Organised by PLASA, the event sold out well in advance, signalling its importance to the lighting community
France - PlugFest returned to Lille France from 7-9 March, bringing together lighting professionals from across Europe to test products and learn about the latest protocols and standards.
Returning for the first time since the pandemic, the European event aims to improve the connectivity of lighting products and provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers, developers and technicians to test and debug their products. Organised by PLASA, the event sold out well in advance, signalling its importance to the lighting community.
Over 39 representatives attended from 25 companies, including ChamSys, Chauvet, Company NA, ETC, GLP, Highlite, Lamp and Pencil, MA Lighting, the National Theatre (London), Robert Juliat, the Royal Opera House (London), Robe, Swisson, TAIT and TSL.
First time attendee, Vincent Bouquet from Robe France comments: “PlugFest has been a really great opportunity. Here on mutual ground, we can put our competition aside and all together test things and work out issues to help the industry go forward.”
Dan Murfin of Tait adds: “PlugFest is a great opportunity to talk to people, to think more about standards, to see what manufacturers are doing, and to help formulate ideas to formulate how we create industry products.”
In addition to interactive testing, PlugFest offers a programme of educational seminars, unpacking the most widely used protocols. This year, the programme included DMX512, RDM, DALI, sACN, Art-Net, ArtRDM, RDMnet and LLRP.
First time attendee, Alex Gardner from the Royal Opera House comments: “Working in the control department of the Royal Opera House, it’s important for us to see what’s coming up, not just now, not just in five years, but ten years down the line. The PlugFest seminars have been informative, and meeting people and building relationships has been really important.”
Ricards Veips from Company NA adds: “We are in the process of upgrading our kit and infrastructure so we’re curious to see where technology is going and want to make sure we are futureproofing our systems.”
PlugFest is hosted by PLASA, the lead association for live entertainment technology, along with Hamish Dumbreck (JESE Ltd), Wayne Howell (Artistic Licence) and Peter Willis (Howard Eaton Lighting). Wayne Howell comments: “This year, we’ve had a wider range of companies than ever before, and lots of new faces too. Getting the right mix of education and interaction is quite hard, but this year we’ve done a good job of getting that right.”
Hamish Dumbreck adds: “It was good to have the new entrants and folks that were interested in seeing the basics. It’s certainly been a good thing to meet new attendees, and the networking is advantageous to anyone, and I recommend PlugFest purely for that reason!”
Peter Willis adds: “We go out of our way, ahead of time to ensure that we are communicating with newcomers, ensuring the topics are right from year to year. I certainly always go away with new things that I’ve learned as a presenter and organiser. There is plenty to be gained from PlugFest, not just for our future presentations, for our day jobs too.”
Nicky Greet, PLASA’s director of Membership, Skills & Technical, concludes: “Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s PlugFest a success as a valuable and educational experience for the lighting community. For those who wish to return, or those who missed out on a ticket, PlugFest will return next year. So, I invite you to sign up for email alerts via the PLASA website – everyone is welcome!”
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