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PLASA09: strong feedback despite lower turnout

test 29 September 2009

UK: Many exhibitors have proclaimed their satisfaction with the trade show despite the 14% drop in visitor numbers from 2008, reports David Davies. In total, this year’s instalment of the professional AV technology exhibition attracted 11,518 visitors (subject to ABC audit) – 14% fewer than last year’s edition, which registered a 10% increase compared to the previous year.

"There was an overwhelming impression that the quality of visitors was good, with serious decision-makers and trade buyers attending throughout the show – proof that the show is a fundamental part of the purchasing plans of senior buyers and specifiers," commented PLASA Events’ show director, Nicola Rowland. "It was also great to see that R&D in the industry continues despite the economic climate and it was reflected in both the number of product launches on the show floor and the quality of products entered in the Awards for Innovation."

JoeCo managing director Joe Bull – who picked up a PLASA Award for Innovation for the company’s BlackBox Recorder BBR21 during the show – was among those to praise this year’s event. "The PLASA Show was phenomenal – far better than I could have hoped," he commented. "And I think that was due in large part to the Awards for Innovation, not because we were a winner, but because we were a part of it and had our product on display in the Innovation Gallery."

Notable features of this year’s PLASA Show included the presence of government agencies within the, providing advice on public sector procurement and funding opportunities. Meanwhile, the Education & Learning Programme incorporated 36 sessions from contributors including previous Gottelier Award recipients Tony Andrews and John Stadius. (As mentioned in last week’s PSN-e, the 2009 Gottelier Award was won by Midas/KT’s Alex Cooper.)

Looking ahead to PLASA exhibitions in 2010, Rowland tells PSN-e: "We are optimistic about next year. We’re pleased that so many of our current exhibitors had such a positive experience at PLASA09 and [are] very encouraged by the fact that some of the companies who were unable to exhibit this year are already having discussions with us about returning in 2010."

Meanwhile, the initial indications are that the next instalment of the PLASA Focus: Leeds regional showcase – which is scheduled to take place at the Royal Armouries on April 27/28 – will be a "sell-out". PLASA Events is also looking at ways of "expanding this business model" in line with industry requirements.

"Above all we have to ensure that the events PLASA deliver to the industry continue to match the needs and expectations of our exhibitors along with our visitors and we will do this through continual engagement with all our customers," says Rowland.

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