The organiser of the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) Show claims the show continues to retain visitors and exhibitors despite the affects of the recession on the theatre industry.
The two-day specialist exhibition ran from 15 to 16 June at the Royal Horticultural Halls and included 100 exhibitors providing products and services to the technical theatre and staging production community. Last year’s 15 per cent visitor rise was replicated this year and resulted in about 2,700 (unaudited figures) visitors across the two days.
Show director Roger Fox attributed the result to the exhibition’s compact footprint, atmosphere and specialist focus.
“We’re thrilled to have held our position with visitors and exhibitors alike,” Fox said. “Despite the heavy downpours we maintained the quality of the visitors and presented a show that was typically packed with innovation.”
Fox said the results are also noteworthy given recessionary marketing cutbacks over the past few years. A show spokesperson pointed out the industry was reliant on new theatres being built, or show producers having the funds to renovate existing infrastructure.
“It’s this kind of spending that slows down during a recession, so we’re grateful to have kept the show alive and successful,” the spokesperson said.
One interesting visitor trend was a rise in representatives from independent schools.
“The technology is becoming less expensive, so enthusiasts and amateurs such as schools can access good quality lighting rigs as part of a planned budget,” the spokesperson continued.
A new addition to this year’s show was a paid seminar programme organised by the association and hosted by theatre consultants. The annual ABTT Innovation Awards were also a highlight.
“The dedicated seminar programme and our annual Awards were boosted by support from JELF Insurance and our aim is to create an even better event in 2012,” Fox added.
The 34th ABTT Theatre Show has been confirmed at the Royal Horticultural Halls from 13 to 14 June 2012 and will include the international Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference, which is held in London by the exhibition every other year.
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