Both organisations have conducted strategic reviews and concluded that unification as one body will give rise to "a stronger voice for members, the enhancement of existing initiatives and an expansion of the range of benefits and services".
Speaking to II, PLASA executive director Ruth Rossington revealed that the proposal is "to merge both organisations and memberships under the PLASA name; however, The ESTA Foundation - [which is] designed to fill an industry-wide need for practically educated and trained entertainment technicians and to assist industry professionals in times of crisis - will continue to be an independent educational and charitable foundation and will retain its name. The merged association will continue to provide support and administrative back-up to the Foundation."
The proposed merger has the full backing of both the ESTA board of committees and the PLASA executive committee, who will formally recommend the move to their respective memberships - subject to the completion of due diligence - next spring/summer. If both memberships vote to go ahead, the first stage of the merger will be completed by December 2010.
In a joint statement, PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths and ESTA executive director Lori Rubinstein commented: "This is essentially about doing what is best for our members. The proposed merger will radically enhance what we can achieve on behalf of the companies and individuals we represent, making us a more effective and informed advocate for the industry. The industry needs an organisation that is responsive to its members' needs and one where they feel fully connected and involved. We share common goals and objectives and a united approach to the issues and challenges of our market will provide major long-term benefits and greatly broaden the role of the organisation."
To read IE's original report click here.
Image: Chris Toulmin