A long-standing member of PLASA, A.C. Lighting started its own event in 1999. Eight years on, the new agreement between the company and PLASA Events is said to reflect the intention of both organisations "to work together to ensure the entertainment, event and production industries in the north have a single industry-led event that serves their needs."
Acquisition of this show - which may be retitled PLASA North - marks the first fruition of PLASA's stated objective to establish a series of regional exhibitions via its recently established events division.
"Our aim is to achieve an intimate event that has a networking feel to it," PLASA executive director Ruth Rossington told II. "We don't have any intention of creating another main PLASA show - that is not the plan. We want to create a regional exhibition that serves that market and serves it in the way that market needs to be served. But it will be developed forward and we will add more things to the current make-up of the event."
"Along with the support of the manufacturers, we have built the A.C. Lighting North Trade Show into a great regional showcase and networking event," said A.C. Lighting director Jonathan Walters (pictured here shaking on the deal with PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths). "Regrettably, for the show to grow and better serve the industry, we feel we should hand the organisation over to an independent party, and PLASA is the obvious choice. Our commitment to our northern-based customers remains absolute and we will continue to support the event as an exhibitor. We sincerely hope that our actions will allow the event to grow to benefit the industry as a whole."
For PLASA, the event will also provide an opportunity to perfect a format that could then be applied to other areas of the country. "We do see this as a blueprint for what works effectively and what doesn't," Rossington said. "I don't think you will see us organise other regional events until we have got the format right. [In any case] we want to respond where there are gaps and we feel we can fill them."
PICTURE CREDIT: Andy Brining