While not giving out a figure for attendance, show organisers reported widespread praise and said the number of international visitors had doubled as the pandemic’s influence fades.

PLASA visitor numbers grow 41% after ‘gruelling years’

The PLASA Show has recorded a 41% increase in visitors year on year at its 2022 event which was held at Olympia London from 4-6 September.

The increase follows a gruelling two years for the industry, according to a show press release.

Peter Heath, managing director at PLASA, commented: “The excitement for PLASA Show this year was undeniable. Not only did we accommodate several more brands than anticipated, the number of visitors through the door exceeded all expectations. And as I walked around the show, there was a real sense of community and appreciation for our fantastic industry.”

Visitor seniority was said to be high, with 80% in positions with purchasing power. Business owners, directors and chairs were the single biggest visitor group (20%), followed by technicians, programmers, and lighting designers working across venues, rental, and production.

This year also saw a doubling in the number of international visitors, as the influence of the pandemic recedes.

Companies launching products at the show included headline sponsor Robe, with an iFORTE moving light whose IP65 capabilities were demonstrated in a live performance featuring a torrential downpour. Robe also announced its acquisition of Artistic Licence at the show.

Seminar content included Ed Sheeran’s design team which presented the most popular panel, revealing how they created the Mathematics touring stadium show.

This year also saw the first all-female panel, which discussed career pathways and barriers to entry, featuring Sarah Cox of Neutral Human, Sarah Rushton-Read of The Fifth Estate, Lucy Jenkins of Anna Valley, Kira O’Brien of Fray Studio, Pembe Tokluhan of Petok Productions, and Bryony October, a sound engineer and tour production manager.

Support for those feeling financial and workload pressure was provided by the #WeMakeEvents Wellbeing & Support Hub which hosted industry charities Backup Tech and Music Support.

Sophie Atkinson, head of events at PLASA, added: “Building up from our ‘come-back’ 2021 show, we knew expectations were high for 2022. But the feedback is above and beyond what we hoped for.”

PLASA Show returns to Olympia London from 3-5 September 2023.

Reference : AVinteractive