Industry reacts to ‘busiest PLASA Show in years’
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
crowd-1PLASA Show 2020 will take place from 6-8 September at Olympia London’s Grand Hall
UK - The 2019 PLASA Show was “the busiest in years” thanks to a six per cent increase in attendance, PLASA has reported. The event’s global status was also strengthened, with delegates from over 63 countries flocking to the London-based tradeshow.
This was the last edition of the event that was held at Olympia’s National Hall, with the 2020 PLASA Show set to move to London Olympia’s Grand Hall to accommodate a greater number of stands and show features.
“PLASA Show has clearly been improving year on year with 2019 being the best one yet,” comments Johan Gunsing, international sales manager for Adam Hall Group. “We have started to see a wider geographic audience attend the show which brings with it new opportunities, new business and increased brand awareness.”
“Once again PLASA did not disappoint,” comments Gareth Collyer, Nexo’s UK sales manager. “We were very pleased with the overall number and quality of the visitors that visited our booth and we look forward to seeing the show grow again next year when it moves to the Grand Hall.”
Grant Bales-Smith, sales manager EMEA for Vari-Lite & Strand, adds: “The show has really re-built itself which is a great thing to see. We’ve met with international customers from France, Spain, Germany and Scandinavia, representing the whole industry from theatre to concert touring.”
Coda Audio’s director of global marketing, David 'Webby' Webster, comments on the company’s debut appearance: “Because we’re relatively new to the market, it’s been great for us to give people the opportunity to come and see our new patented technology. We met rental companies, installers, consultants, contractors – all of the people we want to see. We had a very good show.”


The show saw an array of new brands and initiatives, including immersive AV installation Blackout and Stage to Studio, which featured respected studio engineers Simon Todkill and Jamie McEvoy, and was mixed live by Andrew Mansell from Shermann Audio. The tradeshow also saw double the amount of live audio demonstrations, including three dedicated Audio Lounges for L-Acoustics, Sound Technology and RCF.
RCF’s UK sales director, Dean Devoile, comments: “Our Audio Lounge worked wonderfully well. Virtually all of the sessions we ran were full and we probably could have done with doing even more! This has been the busiest and best PLASA Show we’ve done in a long, long time.”
“This year marked a step forward for us” adds Mary-Beth Henson from L-Acoustics. “With the addition of demo rooms, we welcomed an impressive crowd of people interested in hearing our A Series - PLASA’s flexibility is without a doubt the driver of the show’s continued growth each year.”
Meanwhile, Robe’s Back to the Future inspired stand showcased the manufacturer’s PLASA Award for Innovation-winning Esprite fixture during regular performances complete with especial effects, dancers and an authentic DeLorean car. “It has been the most ambitious production we’ve done to date,” said design duo Nathan Wan and Andy Webb. “During the show we smash through over 550 cues in eight minutes. It’s been an absolute delight to see it all come together.”
Exhibitor’s represented all corners of the entertainment technology industry, from audio, lighting, staging and rigging to broadcast and AV, each sector commenting on the quality and range of visitors attending the show.
“PLASA Show is an invaluable fixture in our calendar”, confirms AED Group ‘s business development manager, Ryan Stromski. “It enables us to connect with so many of our existing and potential customers under one roof. Without PLASA we simply wouldn’t be able to generate those vital touch points with our valued clients.”
Peavey’s operation’s manager James Kennedy continues: “We met a whole range of customers, and were particularly encouraged by the amount of end-users. Overall, we had a great few days.”
City Theatrical’s sales vice-president Gary Vilardi adds: “PLASA is one of the best trade shows we exhibit at each year and we had many high calibre lighting professionals visit us at our booth this year."
ETC’s Cat Shepherd agrees: “We had a really busy stand the whole time and we’ve seen lots of different types of customers – including many international and end users. We’re really excited about the move the Grand Hall next year - it’s a great opportunity to have everything on one level will bring the whole show together.”
A staple show highlight, the PLASA Awards for Innovation, held in association with LSi magazine, awarded eight companies with the prestigious product awards - read about the winners here. Meanwhile, the Gottelier Award - which recognises product developers for their significant and sustained contributions to the advancement of technology - was won by Dr Christian Heil, the founder of L-Acoustics.
During the Award for Innovation ceremony, it was announced that LSi would donate £2,000 to industry charity Backup, raised from entry fees to the awards.
In a separate charity initiative, a cycling team of industry peers raised over £5,550 for the charities Backup and Stage Hand.
PLASA Show 2020 will take place from 6-8 September at Olympia London’s Grand Hall. Follow the latest developments at

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