From Monday 12th to Friday 16th October, PLASA, an association for the entertainment technology industry, hosted PLASA Online, a virtual programme of talks, panels and presentations designed to help industry professionals navigate the Covid era.

Thousands signed up in advance to watch the specially curated programme which spanned business advice, industry insights, technical developments, and product presentations. The full programme will remain online until Monday 16 November for you to catch up at your convenience.

The most popular session was an exploration of the 2020 Changes to Portable Appliance Testing Requirements with electrical expert and author of the new IET Code of Practice James Eade. In this session, James gave the viewers an overview of the recent changes and explained why portable appliance testing is no more and why annual testing is probably not the right answer.

Looking at challenges in live production in the Covid environment, Tom Goode chaired a panel with health and safety professionals from across the industry. Together they discussed a variety of corporate, theatre and music events that have been recently produced, along with what’s worked and how they have had to adapt.

Other popular sessions included the Future of Virtual and Digital Theatre with lighting visualiser James Simpson, Predictions and Pathways to Economic Recovery with renowned economist Roger Martin-Fagg, and On the Campaign Trail with #WeMakeEvents with four of the co-founders.

Business was on top of the agenda each day. Renowned speaker Marcus Child gave tips to renew leadership, Nicky Gleadow addressed challenges in HR, and PLASA Managing Director Peter Heath hosted panels on how to prepare for Brexit and how to manage mental health and wellbeing.

Many of the industry’s leading brands presented their new productions. Covering lighting, Chauvet showcased the Maverick Silens 2 Profile, Signify explained disinfection with UV-C light, Elation showcased the Artiste, Fuze and Proteus, ETC presented their Tools for Evolving Trade, and Martin showcased the new MAC Aura PXL. Covering audio, DiGiCo explained how they utilise Dante and Sennheiser unpacked their latest microphone family. For rigging and production, BroadWeigh revealed how their load monitoring products have been used in major shows and Vectorworks demonstrated their Spotlight software. Additionally, Highlite and Adam Hall group presented an array of lighting and audio products from their portfolio.

PLASA’s Head of Events Sophie Atkinson comments: “We’re delighted that our very first PLASA Online was a success and that we were able to provide content to support you and your business during this time. We hope that you found value in the sessions and we welcome any feedback that you may have. The full programme will stay online for the next few weeks so if you missed any of the sessions we invite you to catch up ‘on demand’ via our website.”

Peter Heath adds: “PLASA is uniquely positioned to see the devastating impact of Covid-19 upon the events industry, and we knew that the industry needed both guidance and inspiration to navigate the crisis. With this in mind, we gathered some of the smartest minds from within the industry as well as business leaders to create a free programme, specific to what our industry most needs now. With Winter looming and an increase in lockdowns, we are already planning more content in the near future. We look forward to sharing more information with you soon.”

The full PLASA Online programme is available to view until Monday 16 November. Find out more at

November 2023 issue

2023 A1 Buyers Guide