PLASA 2016 announces final sessions

As PLASA consolidates its position as one of the premier events in the international tradeshow calendar, it is pleased to announce the last of its free-to-attend educational sessions.

Completing this year’s educational and informative offering, are Sound Design for Olympic Ceremonies – Lessons Learnt, The art of creating impactful artist performances, Investigating the Intangible – When Lighting & Sound Interact, Apprenticeships – A new approach to employer-led schemes, AV Installation Strategy for Venue Owners and Inventing The Future: The Story of the National Theatre’s Lightboard.
Scott Willsallen has been one of the leading audio designers for major international and outdoor events since 2004 and has been involved in the majority of the Olympic Ceremonies since then. In Sound Design for Olympic Ceremonies – Lessons Learnt he will discuss the challenges of sound designs for such complex projects, from loudspeaker system design, control system redundancy, signal transport, RF systems, music replay and timecode.
“This is an interactive session where I'm going to be talking about my design process and the lessons I've learnt over many years of major event sound design,” says Scott. “I'll follow this with a discussion about if, and how, some of these techniques may be implemented into small scale projects, so it’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to pick my brains!”
The art of creating impactful artist performances, presented by Nicoline Refsing, Production Designer, Creative Director and found of Rockart Design, has for the past three years, been creating iconic artist performances for the Eurovision Song Contest. She will show examples of her work and the creative process behind the performances, amongst others Australia, who came in second in the competition this year.
“People always ask me, if I run out of ideas, the truth is, I don’t,” says Nicoline. “Every artist I work with is unique and I look at them to see what is that special story they have got to tell. It has got to be authentic and at the same time meet the ever increasing audience demand for spectacular. Eurovision Song Contest has stayed authentic and I think that it why it has achieved such huge global popularity, last year the show rated 204 million."
Chaired by the PSA’s General Manager, Andy Lenthall, Apprenticeships – A new approach to employer-led schemes looks at the work of the Apprenticeship Trailblazer programme, under which a number of employers in the live events sector have been working together to develop new apprenticeships for technicians in rental houses and venues, as well as riggers, which are either approved or in the latter stages of development. The Production Services Association has been working with the Trailblazer group, chaired by PRG XL Video, on the development of a Live Event Technician and during the session Andy will explain the development process and what the new standards mean to employers.
AV Installation Strategy for Venue Owners will be co-hosted by James Gosney, head of sound at Stage Electrics, and Emma Bigg, owner of newly formed consultancy firm Octavius RE. They will talk about the important questions to ask when designing an Audio Visual Installation and take you through the necessary steps to ensure your system design and installation exceeds your customer’s expectations and highlight the potential pitfalls along the way.  Based on a wide variety of real life experiences, with examples of good and bad practice this seminar will give you the tools to ensure the best results every time.
“There are a lot of audio systems that either don’t quite do what they were intended to do, or have been installed without consideration for the aesthetics of their environment,” says James. “Emma and I are aiming to demonstrate just how you can make your installation work for you in terms of performance and blending into the architecture, as well as making the process as easy and cost effective as possible.”
Finally, Lighting designer and Classic Gear author Rob Halliday presents Inventing The Future: The Story of the National Theatre’s Lightboard. For the opening of Britain’s National Theatre in 1976, theatre consultant Richard Pilbrow specified a new kind of lighting control, capable of dealing with 800 dimmers, moving lights, colour changers, projection and more, offering powerful tools for mixing and balancing lighting and creating cues with complex timing. Achieving all of this with the computer technology of the day was only borderline possible - but a brilliant team from Strand, nominated for this year’s Gottelier award, ultimately succeeded in creating Lightboard - a console that was such a remarkable advance that some of its functionality is not matched even in the very latest lighting controls of today. Rob tells the story of the specification, creation and use of this remarkable machine - supported by members of the teams who made it, used it, and with an appearance from Lightboard itself, recently recovered by the Backstage Heritage Collection.
“The content of this year’s sessions has exceeded even our expectations,” says Chris Toulmin, director, PLASA Events. “We are covering every aspect of the industry and some of the hot topics that we know are of particular interest. We have something for everyone, from those who are just starting out, to those that have established themselves, but want to learn something new.”


Sunday 16 September
10am - 6pm
Monday 17 September
10am - late
Tuesday 18 September
10am - 4pm