PLASA Show, the exhibition for the live entertainment technology industry, has reported 25 per cent increase in the number of audio companies exhibiting at the event this year. The 40th edition of the three-day show drew to a close on 19 September.
The event returned to Olympia London with a refocused direction. The organiser claimed it paid dividends with an increase in visitor numbers, a sold-out show floor and a 25 per cent increase in the number of audio companies exhibiting compared with 2016. The upward trend follows on from close collaboration between PLASA and the audio industry to attract more audio-focused education events and live product demonstrations.
The organiser said exhibitors reported continually busy stands and a high quality of visitor across all three days, with a particular increase in the number of international attendees. The show had brand new products on show and a content-packed seminar programme.
New industry focus
EN understands the exhibition started in 1977 at the Bloomsbury Crest in London under the name of Discotek 77. It was then held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre and between 2013 and 2015 at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. PLASA returned to Olympia London in 2016.
In an interview given in 2015 to PSN Europe – a B2B magazine in the audio industry – PLASA events director Chris Toulmin revealed that attendance of pro-audio companies at the show had been in decline and that exhibitors viewed the event as a domestic rather than internationally trade show.
This year’s show tells a different story. PLASA has said the close collaboration with the audio industry has found a fertile ground within the companies in the sector. “This year’s show was a fantastic celebration of 40 years of PLASA and a real validation of our decision to return to West London,” Toulmin said in a statement.
As part of the renovated industry focus PLASA 2017 featured the Audio Demo room where visitors could listen to 15-minute demos of a variety of leading loudspeaker systems the likes of Bose Professional, Aura Audio, KV2 Audio, Shermann Audio and TiMAX.
“The quality of the people was bang on,” commented Mick Hannaford from Robe, the show’s Platinum sponsor. “Undoubtedly, the move back to West London is making that happen. Every time I looked, there were lots of conversations going on around the show floor. I think every exhibitor should be happy. It was magic!”
Emphasising the increased appeal for the audio sector was the number of new products launched at the show, which included Harman’s Vi1000 digital mixing console on the stand of its UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd, Adamson’s IS-Series installation loudspeakers and KV2 Audio’s VHD 2.18J subwoofer, to name but a few. Feedback from the seminar programme was also positive.
Toulmin said work has already begun on PLASA Show 2018 (16-18 September), and that audited statistics of exhibitors and visitors number of this year’s show will be released next week.