‘We tried to do things a little differently’: PLASA Focus Leeds in review

PLASA Focus Leeds returned to the Royal Armouries from 14-15 May for its 11th edition.

With an 8 per cent increase in visitors, the show once again proved to be a key social and business event in the entertainment technology calendar, welcoming professionals from across the industry over two days.

The show floor spanned two halls, offering products and solutions from a mix of audio, AV, lighting, staging and rigging brands, with several new faces who were keen to capitalise on their debut.

“As we are new to PLASA Focus Leeds we tried to do things a little differently,” said 2B Heard’s director, Sam Nankivell. “We achieved this by installing an immersive audio system at our stand which included twenty speakers for a full 3D soundscape. This surprised many visitors and we had a number of new enquiries.”

Audio debuts included Funktion One’s Vero VX sound system, KV2 Audio’s compact ESD Cube loudspeaker, EM Acoustics’ Halo-B line array, Martin Audio’s VIA amplifier range, Shure’s TwinPlex subminiature microphone, and the ArenaMatch line array from Bose.

Funktion One’s David Bruml said, “It’s great to be in sunny Leeds showing off our Vero VX for the very first time in the UK. We’ve had a string of really good meetings from all walks of the audio community and we have really enjoyed being with the rest of the industry in such a relaxed setting.”

It was a full house for ‘More than a Venue’ which unpacked the challenging audio installation for the Royal Albert Hall, a venue known for its acoustic imperfections. It was a challenge taken on by d&b audiotechnik who revealed how they created the world’s largest single-room speaker system. Another highlight was Stormzy’s audio engineer Raphael Williams who explained his unique challenges and preparations for the grime star’s debut headline Glastonbury performance this summer.

PLASA launched its new training programme at the show, unveiling National Event Lifting Training (NELT) aimed at production professionals, while also chairing a panel of industry leaders to explore the most effective approaches to supporting mental health throughout the industry.

PLASA’s Head of Events Sophie Atkinson said, “We are thrilled that PLASA Focus Leeds continues to grow in popularity and diversity, facilitating connection across the entire industry.

“We are proud of our friendly Focus events and are very much looking forward to rolling out a revived PLASA Focus Glasgow from 3-4 March 2020, as well as returning to Olympia London from 15-17 September with our flagship PLASA Show.”