PLASA 2015 report
Paul Milligan visited the PLASA exhibition in ExCel in London and found it to be a show struggling to stand out from the competition.
The PLASA exhibition aims to highlight the best in the entertainment and installation industries. In the last decade this has seen the show move its focus from pro-audio and lighting technologies, to more of a rental and staging exhibition.
Pro-audio exhibitors have been noticeable by their absence in the last few years and 2015 was no exception. Specialist pro-audio distributor Polar Audio was present, but it, and Leisuretec and SSE Audio were vastly outnumbered by lighting, trussing and rigging companies.
Last year it was notable how many small-to-medium LED manufacturers there were at the show, but even those numbers seemed to be down this year. Many we spoke at ExCel cited the fact that ISE 2016 will be a four-day show. This extra cost is squeezing the promotional budget for the rest of the year, and it seems PLASA is one of those events some manufacturers are missing off their list of commitments.
Visitor numbers seemed to be in line with the last two years at ExCel, with a notable mix of European visitors (alongside the usual hordes of pen-collecting music students).
The biggest news on the show floor this year was that the event is on the move again, only 3 years after morning to ExCel from Earls Court. PLASA 2016 will move across London next year to Olympia, to what many were suggesting was a smaller overall space. It will also have the added difficulty of the dates clashing with IBC and another pro-audio exhibition in the UK.
With regards to new products of interest to the pro-AV world, the show didn't offer a great deal this year. The most significant was Green Hippo, who launched the latest version of its Hippotizer software, v4.1, and also previewed the next release, 4.2 PixelMapper.
PSCo, the trade-only AV distributor and rental company was at the show to announce the news it has become the exclusive distributor for RGBLink in the UK and Ireland. The partnership deepens PSCo's portfolio by providing clients with access to RGBLink’s range of video processing products. It's a deal that makes a lot of sense for both parties.